Skip to main content
Drexel Library Libraries Home Button Drexel Health Sciences Search Services Get Help About Drexel University
Submit feedback

Tutorials: Is This a Scholarly Publication?

A Student's Guide to Telling the Difference Between Types of Publications

If the publication in question meets most of the criteria in the SCHOLARLY column, it should qualify as scholarly or academic. If it meets criteria in the other columns, it might not fit your instructor's requirement. Also, look inside the cover or title page of a publication to see if there is an editorial statement. Does it say that it is "refereed" or "subject to peer review" or allude to how to submit manuscripts for approval?  If it does, that's a sign that the publication is scholarly and possesses greater academic credibility.

 

SCHOLARLY JOURNALS

NEWS/ GENERAL INTEREST PERIODICALS

POPULAR MAGAZINES

SENSATIONAL PUBLICATIONS

ADVERTISING

Contain selective advertising

Contain some advertising

Contain extensive advertising

Contain advertising as lurid and startling as the stories

AUTHORS

Written by scholars or researchers in the field or discipline; often published by an association or society devoted to a field. e.g. American Sociological Association

Written for an educated, general audience by staff, free-lance, or scholarly writers

Written by the staff or free-lance writers for a broad-based audience

Written by free-lance or staff writers

EXAMPLES

Annals of Microbiology,
Harvard Business, Review,
Journal of Physiology,
Physics Letters

Atlantic Monthly,
Newsweek,
The Economist
Fortune,

Psychology Today

Better Homes and Gardens,
People Weekly,
Glamour,
Sports Illustrated

Globe,
National Enquirer,
Star,
The Sun

FORMAT

Have unadorned, serious formats

Are attractive in appearance

Generally slick and glossy with an attractive format

Cheap newspaper format.

GRAPHICS

Contain graphs, formulas, charts to illustrate concepts

Include photos, illustrations, and graphics to enhance the article

Contain photos, illustrations, and drawings to enhance the publication's image

Contain melodramatic, lurid, or "doctored" photos

LANGUAGE

Use terminology, jargon, and the language and vocabulary of the discipline covered. Reader is assumed to have similar background

Use language appropriate for an educated readership

Use simple language for minimal educational level. Articles are short, with little depth

Contain language that is simple, easy-to-read and understand. Inflammatory or sensational style is often used

PUBLISHERS

Generally published by professional organizations

Published by commercial enterprises for an educated readership

Published for profit

Published for profit

PURPOSE

To inform, report, or make original research available to the scholarly world

Provide general information to a wide interested audience

Designed to entertain or persuade, to sell products or services

Arouse curiosity and interest by distorting the truth. Outrageous headlines: e.g. "President talked With Aliens"
"Jesus' face on Dark Side of Moon."

SOURCES

Cite sources with footnotes and or bibliographies

Occasionally cite sources, but not as a rule

Rarely cite sources
Original sources may be obscure

Rarely cite sources of information

 

Copyright © 2014 Drexel University  |   Privacy Policy

Powered by Drupal Druplicon icon