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EXS300 Research Guide

Provides guidance for selecting credible sources and for understanding ethical research using human participants, including research protocol review by Institutional Review Boards.

Scholarly Continuum of Magazines/Journals

 

This table describes the differences between scholarly journals, technical/trade journals, substantial news/general interest magazines, and popular magazines based on the set of criteria in the left column.

These criteria may be used to determine where in the continuum from scholarly to popular a particular periodical (magazine or journal) falls.

CRITERIA

SCHOLARLY JOURNALS

TECHNICAL / TRADE

SUBSTANTIAL NEWS / GENERAL INTEREST

POPULAR

 Audience & Purpose

 

 

Audience: Specific professional audience of other scholars in the discipline or profession.

Purpose:  Reports or makes available original research or experimentation to the rest of the scholarly world.

 

 

Audience: Specific professional audience of people in a particular discipline or profession. 

Purpose:  Helps someone do their job better by reporting on new techniques (but does not report original research). Includes job listings and other news of interest to people in that profession. 

 

 

Audience:  Educated audience with interest in the topics (not aimed at a professional group)

Purpose: Provides substantial information to an interested audience.

 

Audience: General audience.

Purpose: Primarily entertains or persuades.  Hidden agenda may include selling products or services.

Format

Generally have grave, serious formats

 

Are attractive in appearance

Attractive in appearance

Generally slick & glossy with an attractive format

 Graphics

Contain graphs and charts to illustrate the articles but usually quite plain in appearance with minimal use of color.

 

Include photographs, illustrations and graphics to enhance the publication

Include photographs, illustrations and graphics to enhance the publication

Contain photographs, illustrations and drawings to enhance their image

 

 Sources

Cite sources with footnotes and/or bibliography

 

Articles may not be footnoted or may have few footnotes

Occasionally cite sources, but this is exception to rule

Rarely cite sources; Original sources can be obscure

 Authors

Written by scholars or researchers in the specialty

 

Written by people working in a particular profession

 

Written either by the magazine’s staff, a scholar, or free-lance writers.

Written by the publication’s staff or free-lance writers for a broad based audience

 Language

 

Use terminology, jargon and the language of the discipline covered.  The reader is assumed to have a similar scholarly background.

 

Use terminology and jargon of the field but are usually less formal in tone.

Use language appropriate for an educated readership.  They do not necessarily emphasize a specialty but do assume a certain level of intelligence.

Use simple language in order to meet a minimum education level.  Articles are kept short, with little depth.

 Publishers

Generally published by a professional organization or society

 

Published by professional association

Published by commercial enterprises for profit

Published for profit

 Advertising

 

No advertising or very minimal, selective advertising

Advertisements are aimed at people in that profession -- including products and services of interest to them.

 

Carry general advertising

Carry extensive general advertising

 Examples

 

New England Journal of Medicine

Journal of the Am. Chemical Society

Harvard Business Review

American Biology  Teacher

Chemical  & Engineering News

Scientific American

Psychology Today

Newsweek

Esquire

Reader's Digest

           

ENGL201 Scholarly table.   Karl E. Mundt Library/ Dakota State University.                    Based on document developed by Purdue University. Undergraduate Library

What are Peer-Reviewed Articles?

Scholarly peer review is a process to assure the quality of articles in a particular discipline or field of study. Work, activities, decision-making, and problem-solving need to be based on high quality evidence.  

In scholarly peer-review, articles are evaluated by other scholars/specialists who are experts in the specialty/topic of the article.

  • The three or four reviewers of each article may recommend that the article be published as is, published after certain revisions, or not published.
  • The "highest" level of peer review is a "double-blind" review in which the authors don't know who has evaluated their papers and the reviewers don't know whose papers they are reviewing. That ensures a fairer process of review.

Journals that use a peer-review process to select which articles they publish are called "peer-reviewed journals" or "refereed journals."

  • In some scholarly journals, every article (except the editorial or introductory essay by an editor) has gone through peer review.
  • Some scholarly journals may have news items, editorials, and other features that are not peer-reviewed and should not be confused with the peer-reviewed content.

Using peer-reviewed scholarly journals helps you base your work and decisions on credible evidence.

Health Information for the General Public

The general public faces a more difficult situation when judging the quality of health/medical information, because they often search the open web where anyone can place any information.

When selling something is the motive, beware. 

    Read this blog post:   Butter In Your Coffee and Other Cons: Stories From a Fitness Insider

Consumers, who lack the expertise of health professionals, should use known trustworthy sites aimed at the general public such as those listed below.

Karl E. Mundt Library, Dakota State University, Madison, South Dakota 57042
605-256-5203