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Information Evaluation: Scholarly v Popular

Before choosing a source for your research paper, it must be evaluated. Here are some tools to help you understand different types of sources and how to evaluate them.

Scholarly vs Popular

Learn more: Scholarly versus Popular Articles

How to Tell if a Source is Scholarly/Academic

Finding Scholarly/Peer Review/Academic Articles

First, these terms are often used interchangably though not all scholarly or academic articles are necessarily peer-reviewed (they usually are). To locate scholarly/peer review, your best bet is to look in one of our databases or use the search box on the Library's homepage and limit your search to "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)."

NOTE: when you search on the Library's homepage, you are only searching SELECT databases from our full suite of resources. If you want to do more in-depth and advanced searching, try exploring our databases individually.

When you don't limit your search to Academic or Peer Reviewed within a database, you will likely find that there are popular sources in with the academic ones. Use the Peer Reviewed Limiter to your advantage. For example, inside an EBSCO database, this option is located in the left column:

Peer review limiter in EBSCO

This will limit your search to publications that are most scholarly/academic. It does not necessarily filter to include publications that go through a strict peer-review process. It also does not apply the filter at the article level; occasionally it will allows articles that are not scholarly/academic to come through (for example, an editorial opinion piece can be published in a scholarly journal but the article itself is not scholarly). 

If you have questions about whether or not a source is scholary/academic, ask your professor or a librarian!

Additional Resources

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