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Information Literacy Classes

Scholarly vs. Non Scholarly Resources

Peer-Reviewed* vs. Non Peer-Reviewed Publications:
What Is the Difference?


Scholarly Journal


Popular Magazine

(Not Peer-Reviewed)

Trade Magazine/Journal

(Not Peer-Reviewed)

Audience Researchers and professionals General public Members of a specific business, industry, or organization
Author(s) Scholars/professors (usually a required part of their job at 4-year universities-not paid by journals) Staff writers and journalists (often paid by magazines) Experts in a field
Content Longer articles
Research projects, methodology, and theory
Use subject-specific language and terms
Short articles of general interest, with a focus on current events, news, and personalities. Short articles with an emphasis on industry trends, new products, techniques, and organizational news.
Sources Sources cited in bibliographies and/or footnotes Rarely cited
Information is usually second or third hand
Sources mentioned occasionally with bibliographies
Purpose To share facts with other scholars/researchers in that same field of study To entertain, inform, and evoke an emotional response To share the latest information and news with others in the same trade
Advertisements Few to None Heavy Moderate-Almost all or most are trade-related
Examples American Literature, New England Journal of Medicine, Current History Glamour, Time, Newsweek Advertising Age, Chemical WeekTech Directions

*Peer-Review Process
Step 1: The author writes and submits the article manuscript to the journal
Step 2: Journal editor sends the manuscript to expert reviewers to evaluate the quality of the research, writing, and conclusions
Step 3: Expert reviewers return the manuscript to the editor with suggested changes, as well as a recommendation to publish or not publish the article
Step 4: The editor reviews suggestions and returns the manuscript to the author for revision
Step 5: The author revises and resubmits the article to the editor
Step 6: The article is published in the journal

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary