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English 101 - Anthropology: Find Articles & More

What's the difference between scholarly and popular sources?

Your instructor said that you cannot use the Internet to find sources for your paper. Instead, you have to use "scholarly journals" and other academic resources from the library. So what does that mean?

Scholarly journals are published by universities, societies, or associations of specialized fields. Articles are written by scholars in that field who present the results of original research and experimentation or provide technical or professional information. They go through a peer-review evaluation process before being published. Peer-reviewed articles are reviewed by other scholars in the same field who provide feedback about the article's quality, accuracy, relevance to scholarship in the field, validity of research methodology and procedures, and more.

Popular Magazines

Popular magazine images

  • General interest stories or entertainment information
  • Based on fact-finding and/or opinion
  • Written by staff writers or journalists
  • Read by the general public
  • Easy to understand language
  • Usually do not include references
  • Contain lots of colorful advertising

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journal images

  • Focused on a particular field of study
  • Based on original research or experimentation
  • Written by scholars or experts in a particular field
  • Read by professionals, students or educators in the subject area
  • Use scholarly, technical, research-oriented language
  • Include references, bibliographies or footnotes
  • Contain little or no advertising

Searching the Databases

Use the following databases to find articles about your topic. These databases index journals, newspapers and other material. Note: off-campus access to these databases requires that you sign on using your mymsjc user name and password.

  • EbscoHost - Search from a wide range of research databases for magazine and journal articles. Updated daily. For scholarly sources, search the Academic Search Premier and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences modules. In order to get the best results, make sure you use the keyword search technique and limit your search to scholarly sources. See these steps illustrated in this short video.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe - Provides access to a wide range of news sources (includes New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times) as well as international newspapers.