Comparing Scholarly Journals & Popular Sources
|Popular Sources (Magazines/Newspapers)
|Experts in the field. The authors’ credentials, affiliations, and contact information are listed.
|Reporters and freelance writers. Names and affiliations may not be listed.
|Scholars, researchers, and students. Uses scholarly terminology and jargon.
|General public, though some trade and professional magazines may write for both others in the field. Language is accessible to most readers.
|Has clearly defined sections: abstract, literature review, methods/materials, results, discussion, conclusion, references
|Doesn't have same set structure.
|Article Acceptance & Editing
|Uses a “peer review” or “referee” process, in which articles are reviewed by other experts in the field before editors make decision to accept, request revisions, or reject the article.
|Articles are reviewed by the journal's editors (and typically fact checkers) before publication.
|Varies from short communications (several pages) to longer articles.
|Articles can vary from a newspaper column to a magazine article of varying lengths.
|Includes extensive footnotes and/or bibliography.
|Rarely includes footnotes or bibliography, though they should reference any articles in the scientific literature discussed in the article.
|Appearance - Overall
|Sober and serious, often presenting data or research results using charts, graphs, and equations. But with a strong visual appeal, using graphical abstracts, multimedia and more to support the article.
|Often more visual appeal to bring in a larger audience.