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Scholarly, Popular and Trade Publications

Scholarly, Trade and Popular Publications

Professors will often ask you to find articles that are scholarly.  What does that mean? Journal articles are usually "scholarly" while magazine articles are "popular".  Trade publications are specific publications that are targeted to people who work in specific industries for example: the advertising business.  

Criteria Scholarly Journal Trade Publication Popular Magazine
Sample Cover scholarly journal cover cover of trade publication cover of popular magazine
Sample First Page of Article first page of scholarly article first page of article in trade journal First page of popular magazine article
Title of Article "Gender, toys and learning" "Toy Story" "The Truth About Boys and Girls"
Title of Publication Oxford Review of Education Professional Engineering Baby Talk
Purpose of Publication "Articles and review articles on the theory and practice of education from scholars throughout the world in disciplines including philosophy, political science, economics, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and medicine." "Addresses the news & technology that impacts on the business & careers of professional engineers in all sectors of engineering & manufacturing." "Publishes articles on a mix of news and advice on the challenges of new motherhood from experts and moms who "tell it like it is.""
Audience Scholars and researchers in the particular field of study.   People in the business General audience.
Authors Scholars and researchers (generally not paid).   Paid staff writers, professionals and vendors in the field.   Paid journalists, staff writers and freelance writers.  
Editors Journal editors and peer reviewers. Staff editors. Staff editors.
Works Cited/References Almost always. Sometimes. Rarely.

Table adapted from a table created by NCSU Libraries.  

One Minute Tips: Scholarly vs. Popular Resources

This short video from Old Dominion University Libraries illustrates the differences between scholarly and popular sources.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article - from NCSU