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GPS: Shelter the World (Kurlanska): Evaluating Sources

What Type of Journal?

Scholarly

Trade

Popular

Audience

Scholars/Experts/Students

Professionals working in the field

General Public

Authors

Scholars/Experts

Professionals in the field or journalists

Reporters

Peer-Reviewed

Yes

No

No

Color Pictures

Few

Yes

Many

Advertisements

Few

Yes, targeted to professionals

Many

Article Length

10+ pages

Ranges

1-5 pages

Article Titles

Long & Descriptive

Ranges

Short & Catchy

Cites Sources

Yes, Required as facts and quotes are verified

Occasional, not required

No

Evaluating Journal Articles

What are their advantages?
Scholarly: Articles are usually evaluated by experts before publication (peer reviewed). Footnotes or bibliographies support research and point to further research on the topic. Authors dsecribe methodology and and supply data to support research results.
Popular: Written for non-specialists. Timely coverage of popular topics and current events. Good sources for topics related to popular culture.
Trade: Timely coverage of industry trends. Sometimes contain short bibliographies. Shorter articles that are informal and practical.

 

What are their disadvantages?
Scholarly: Articles often use specialized terminology of the field that can be difficult for non-specialists to read. Scholarly journals are expensive and may not be readily available. Research and review process takes time; not as useful for current events or popular culture.
Popular: Articles are selected by editors who may know little about the topic. Authors usually do not cite sources. Published to make a profit; the line between informing and selling may be blurred.
Trade: Not peer reviewed, though author is usually a professional in the field. Use of specialized terminology of the field. Evidence drawn from personal experience or common knowledge but NOT rigorous research.

Adapted from: Evaluating Sources: Using the RADAR Framework,  Loyola Marymount University