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FYS Global Child Welfare and Well-Being

Scholarly vs. Popular vs. Trade Publications

How can you tell the difference between SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLES, POPULAR NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE ARTICLES, and TRADE PUBLICATION MAGAZINES? Here is a table with some key differences.



Image result for journal of education


Image result for time magazine


Image result for OT practice magazine

  • Academic research
  • Academic reviews
  • Language is formal and can include field jargon
  • Articles are usually quite lengthy
  • Popular culture Info
  • Current events/ news
  • Language is usually more informal
  • Articles tend to be shorter
  • Industry/field news
  • Professional interest articles
  • Language is heavy on professional jargon though usually not as formal as a scholarly article
  • Articles are short
  • Scholars
  • Researchers
  • Undergraduate/Graduate Students
  •  General public
  • Industry/Field Professionals 
  • Always listed and usually extensive
  • Scientific journals include original research info/data
  • Never (though sources are often quoted within the text)
  • Sometimes listed but not extensive research cited
  • Scholars/Researchers  
  • Usually journalists
  • Sometimes scholars or professionals
  • Usually working professionals (teachers, therapists, etc.) 
  • Sometimes scholars within the field
  • "Peer-reviewed" by an editorial board of scholars in particular field
  • Editorial staff, usually made up of journalists
  • Editorial staff, usually made up of professionals
  • Most visuals are graphs or charts with data
  • Some will have a small picture or two but typically have none
  • Usually no or few ads
  • Frequently contain glossy ads 
  • Contain large and numerous pictures to accompany articles
  • Frequently contain advertisements and some pictures to accompany articles (though not as many as in a popular magazine or newspaper)
  • The American Journal of Psychology
  • The Journal of Asian Studies
  • Journal of Academic Librarianship
  • Occupational Therapy in Mental Health
  • Time
  • Rolling Stone
  • Scientific American
  • Consumer Reports
  • The New York Times
  • OT Practice Magazine
  • College and Research Libraries News
  • NEA (National Education Association) Today Magazine


CRAAP Evaluation Test

CRAAP Evaluation Method

If you plan to use online resources, you need to evaluate those sources. The CRAAP method, devised by librarians from the California State University at Chico, is one convenient way to quickly try to evaluate the quality of a resource.

The acronym stands for:

C Currency – Is the information timely (depending upon the discipline this question might or might not be important to consider)? Is there any date at all listed? Has the information been updated?


RRelevance – Does the information in this resource help support your thesis or to answer your research question? Is the information in this resource at the appropriate level for a college student (neither too advanced nor too elementary)? Do you think your professor would use this resource for their own research on this topic?


AAuthority – Is the author of this resource an expert in the discipline? Is the author identified? Are you able to find more information on the author (i.e. are the author’s qualifications noted somewhere in the resource or can you find them somewhere online?) Is the resource published by a reputable organization? Can you identify a publisher?


AAccuracy – Is the resource riddled with errors (either factual or grammatical)? Does the resource cite high quality references from scholarly journals or reputable popular publications in the bibliography? Is the source overly biased and could that be problematic? If the resource is scientific, did the researcher provide all of their data in the article? Did the writer do any research to back up their argument?


PPurpose – Is the purpose of this work to entertain, to sell a product, to inform, to persuade, etc.? Do the authors have a particular agenda? Who is the intended audience (the general public, scholars, children, teenagers, etc.)? Is this resource appropriate to use as a resource in a college paper? Is the language formal or informal?