Articles: Scholarly or Popular?

More about source types

Taking a deeper dive into source types, it is important to differentiate between scholarly and popular source types. By understanding the difference between scholarly and popular sources — and let’s go ahead and cover trade or professional journals while we’re at it — you’ll begin to understand the information cycle.

In the academic world, you’ll see a lot of assignments requiring you to use scholarly or peer-reviewed sources.

Scholarly and peer-reviewed journals include articles about new findings, trends in a specific discipline (or covering a certain subject area), study reports, data, new theories and reviews. These articles are the written, documented conversations between academics — written and edited by professors and professional researchers.

Journals or publications described as peer-reviewed involve some sort of peer-review or peer-editing process put in place to ensure that any information published by the journal has been vetted and reviewed by presumed experts in the field. This is considered a high standard.