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PHYS Comps

Evaluating Research Sources: Questions to Consider

Types of Articles

Identifying Article Types

Articles in Popular Magazines/Newspapers Articles in Trade Magazines Articles in Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals
Written by freelance journalists or magazine/newspaper staff Written by industry professionals or magazine staff Written by experts affiliated with a research institution (university, hospital, etc.)
Purpose is to inform, persuade, or entertain the general public Purpose is to communicate news to professionals in a specific industry (lawyers, filmmakers, etc.) Purpose is to communicate research findings to other experts
Use language understood by the general public Often use industry jargon Use precise, discipline-specific language
Do not include a formal bibliography, works cited, or references list May or may not include formal citations Always include a bibliography, works cited, and/or references list
Often include bright, colorful photos Often include bright, colorful photos Often display data in black-and-white charts/graphs
Evaluated for publication by a magazine/newspaper editor Evaluated for publication by a magazine editor Have been evaluated and recommend for publication by other experts in the peer-review process
Popular magazines are often published weekly; newspapers are often published daily Trade magazines are often published weekly or monthly Scholarly journals are often published monthly or quarterly