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WR121 Sean Warren

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Scholarly and Popular Sources Video

Video from University of Oregon Libraries, accessed 2/14/2023.

Check your understanding:

  • What part of a scholarly article summarizes the main points?
  • Are newspapers scholarly or popular? Why?
  • What is it called when an article is reviewed by experts?
  • What clues in scholarly articles indicate that the author is an expert?
  • What do the footnotes and bibliography allow readers to do?
  • What are some ways you can visually identify a popular source?

What does peer reviewed mean?

Peer-reviewed articles are published with the intent of sharing new research and information from specialized fields with researchers, professionals, and students. The process of peer review helps to ensure that each published article is unique, accurate, credible, and objective. Peer-reviewed articles can be published in print journals, online journals, and academic and research organizations’ websites.

Characteristics of a Peer-Reviewed Article

  • Information is organized into sections with headings: Abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and references.
  • Usually long and in-depth; 10-20 pages is normal.
  • Includes graphs or tables but few, if any, images or advertisements.
  • Includes specialized or field-specific language.
  • Information is presented objectively, without bias.
  • Includes reference lists and in-text citations.
  • Published quarterly or semi-annually.


  • Inform other scholars and students in higher education of new research and findings.


  • Experts in their fields: researchers conducting primary research, practitioners, professors and scholars. Credentials are either provided in the article or easy to access.
  • Often an organization will publish a journal (e.g., the American Medical Association publishes JAMA and the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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