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American Indian Studies: Popular vs. Scholarly

Fall 2016

Identifying Resources by Type


Scholarly Journals

Trade Magazines

Popular Magazines



Communicate research and scholarly ideas

Provide trends, information, and professional support to particular industry

Provide information and entertainment to general readers


Simple cover design, few images or ads. Some include charts, graphs, statistics

Often glossy paper, images/advertisements relate to trade

Glossy, colorful, many images and lots of advertising


Experts in the field, Researchers.  Author names, credentials, and institutional affiliation listed

Magazine staff or writers affiliated with the trade/industry. Often published by trade organization or assoc.

Journalists, freelance writers, magazine staff (names often not given)


Scholars, researchers, students

Practitioners in the field, members of a particular profession

General public

Article Length

Tend to be longer, may include research, in-depth analysis, very specific focus

Length varies

Typically shorter articles, from less than 1 page to several pages.


Original research, literary criticism and theory, literature review, in-depth analysis of topic

Articles about professional trends, new products or techniques, and industry-related news

Short, feature-length articles.  News and general interest topics

Writing Style

Uses terminology, language and jargon relevant to the discipline

Technical, field-specific language used, assumes readers familiar with industry

Simple language used, written for general public




Articles typically include references, notes, works cited

Articles sometimes have references listed

References typically not listed


Shakespeare Quarterly

Journal of the American Medical Association

Journal of Political Economy

Automotive News

Strategy & Business

 Advertising Age


Rolling Stone

Sports Illustrated



What is a Peer Reviewed Journal?

When an instructor requires students to find journal articles he/she will usually expect articles from peer-reviewed journals.

Peer review is the process by which an author's peers read a paper submitted for publication.

A number of recognized researchers in the field will evaluate the manuscript and recommend its publication, revision, or rejection.

Articles accepted for publication through a peer review process implicitly meet the discipline's expected standards of expertise.