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GEOL 110: Introduction to Geology

Professor Nina Whitney

Common Traits of Popular and Scholarly Articles

Popular Articles Scholarly Articles
Published in magazines or newspapers (National Geographic, New York Times) Published in scholarly journals (Journal of Structural Geology)
Authors are journalists/publication staff Authors are expert researchers affiliated with a research institution (college/university, hospital, institute, etc.)
Written for the general public; avoid dense, technical language Purpose is to communicate research findings to other experts
Do not include a formal bibliography, works cited, or references list Always include a bibliography, works cited, and/or references list
Often include bright, eye-catching photos Often display data in charts and graphs
Evaluated for publication by magazine/newspaper editor Evaluated and recommended for publication by other experts in the field through the peer-review process


What is the Peer-Review Process?

  1. Researchers write an article and submit it to a scholarly journal (also called a refereed journal or a peer-reviewed journal).
  2. The journal editors send the article to other expert researchers in the field, known as peer reviewers.
  3. The peer reviewers read the article and make a recommendation regarding whether the article should be published in the journal. They will consider factors such as the significance of the research findings and the quality of the scholarship. They will typically also suggest changes to improve the article.
  4. The journal editors decide whether to publish the article based on the peer reviewers' feedback. Often, they will ask the authors to make changes suggested by the peer reviewers before the article is re-considered for publication.

Be aware that not everything published in a scholarly journal is a peer-reviewed article. Scholarly journals also include book reviews, editorials, and other content that has not been peer-reviewed.