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Health Professions Highway

Created Summer 2017 for teaching science research to students enrolled in the Health Professions Highway program.

Identifying Popular and Scholarly Sources

Sources can be classified as popular or scholarly. Scholarly sources tend to be peer-reviewed (a rigorous editing process in which experts verify the information). To start thinking about the types of sources we use when we look for information, let's think about the author, the intended audience, and the publishing process.

Popular Sources

Imagine the types of magazines and newspapers that you would find at a bookstore or in the grocery store. We refer to these types of periodicals as "popular sources"; they are geared to reach a more general audience and written in non-technical language. 

Scholarly Sources

In contrast to popular sources, scholarly sources are written primarily by scientists, for scientists. The goal of a scholarly source is to communicate new scientific research in the context of past research. The language in scholarly sources is often technical and publishing often follows a rigorous editing and approval process making the final product peer-reviewed.

Popular vs. Scholarly Sources

Examples of popular sources

Examples of scholarly sources