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Scholarly and Popular Resources
Any primary resource can be a scholarly resource, so the scholarly-popular distinction is only useful for secondary and tertiary resources. Most disciplines require researchers to use mainly primary and scholarly resources. Consequently, it is important to be able to differentiate between the two
 
Scholarly resources provide:
  • information that has been vetted by scholarly experts in the field.
  • scholarly analysis, description or evaluation of events and ideas.
  • primary sources of information about the views of a scholarly community.
Popular resources provide:
  • primary information about culture and society.
  • general information and commentary about political, economic and cultural events.
  • current statistical information of general interest.
  • popular opinions and beliefs.
Comparison of scholarly and popular resources
  Popular Scholarly
Appearance Exciting pictures, many advertisements, glossy cover Dense text
Serious appearance
Audience General public Scholars and students
Well-educated public
Authors Journalists, professional and amateur writers Scholars, professional practitioners
Content Simple discussions of news, entertainment or other popular subjects In depth analysis or extensive overview of a topic
Review Process Works reviewed by publications editors or purchased Works published after review by credible scholars in the discipline (peer review)
Scholarly Apparatus Few or no citations
Simple Language
Many citations
Technical Language
Examples Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Gardening for Dummies American Journal of Sociology, Philosophy and Literature, A History of Britain
For example:
Scholarly Journal
Popular Magazine
Scholarly Book
Popular Book
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