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Comm101: Intro to Communication Studies 2020: Scholarly vs. Popular Articles

Scholarly Journals in Communication: Online

We have dozens upon dozens of scholarly communication journals online. To help identify articles from these publications in Communication & Mass Media:

Limit your search to Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals

  • This is not 100% effective. Trade journal articles sometimes are still included in results, as are editorials and book reviews from scholarly journals.

Carefully review your articles

  • Is there a bibliography?
  • Is the article long (more than a couple pages in length)?
  • Does the article have an abstract at the top (when looking at the PDF)?
  • Is the article discussing original research, or is it recapping an event or reviewing a book or some other form of material?

Still unsure? ASK!

What is a scholarly peer-reviewed article?

Click on the following link to view results from a Comm & Mass Media search, in which the "Limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" box is checked:

Scholarly or Popular?

There are many different types of publications, ranging from scholarly journals to trade publications to general magazines and newspapers. How can you tell the difference?

 

 

Scholarly journal

Trade/professional pub

Popular magazine

Appearance

Plain cover/plain paper; black/white graphics and illustrations

Cover may depict industry setting; glossy; color

Eye-catching cover; glossy; pics and illustrations in color

Content

Research projects, methodology, and theory

Industry trends, products or techniques, organizational news

Personalities, news, opinions, general interest

Audience

Academic or professional; professors, researchers, students

Members of specific business, industry, or organization

General public

Peer reviewed?*

Yes

Rarely

No

Bibliography

Always

Maybe – sometimes have short bibliographies

Never

Advertisements

Few or none

Moderate – most will be trade-related

Heavy

Abstract

Yes

Maybe

No

Writing style

Specialized vocabulary or jargon; may require training or subject expertise to understand

Specialized vocabulary or jargon; may require training or subject expertise to understand

Vocabulary that can be understood by general public

Examples

Communication Research

Journal of Communication

Journalism History

Advertising Age

Columbia Journalism Review

Editor & Publisher

Time

Sports Illustrated

Vanity Fair

 

 

*On Peer Review: Peer reviewed articles (also sometimes called refereed articles or scholarly articles) require that experts in the field must first examine the article before it is accepted for publication. This ensures that the research is sound and of high quality.

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