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College Level Research - Getting Started!: Popular Sources & Scholarly Sources
Use this guide to get your research started. Included in this guide are some helpful tips to get you well on your way to writing a great research paper!
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What is Peer-Review?
Peer-Review is an evaluation of a scientific, academic, or professional work by others working in the same field.
For an article to be published in a Peer-Reviewed Journal it MUST pass the Peer-Review process.
The process can be rigorous.
In order for an article to pass the Peer-Review Process, the research, methods, sources, and conclusions must all be verified as correct and reliable.
The image below is an example of the Peer-Review Process (Image Credit: Elsevier Publishing)
Popular vs Trade vs Scholarly
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POPULAR SOURCES & SCHOLARLY SOURCES?
POPULAR SOURCES (General Interest Magazines):
Examples of Popular Magazines:
The New Yorker.
What is a Periodical? A periodical is any publication that is published Regularly (or periodically) Examples include Newspapers, Magazines, Trade Journals, and Scholarly Academic Journals
Popular magazines and wesites often include advertisements
Popular sources can be subject to bias, political or ethical
Popular sources are NOT subject to Peer-Review
Popular sources often include large, full-color pictures
TRADE JOURNALS (Professional Publications):
Trade Journals are geared specifically to professionals working in a specific field
Examples of Trade Journals:
AOPA - Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, read mostly by pilots and aviation experts
Police Chief - Read mostly by law enforcement officials
Forensic Examiner - Read mostly by Forensic Scientists and Forensic Investigators
Trade Journals often include product reviews for products used by a professional in a specific field
Trade Journals will include case studies of activities carried out by professionals in a specific field
SCHOLARLY PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS:
Scholarly Journal Articles are written by experts who research a particular topic, they have educational and professional credentials to support their experience, and scholarly articles are based on research, science based evidence, and empirical data (statistics, experiments, studies)
Examples of Scholarly Journals:
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
Journal of Crime & Justice
Scholarly Journal Articles can often have multiple authors listed with their credentials or University where they work (PhD, MLS, MS)
Scholarly Articles usually include an Abstract at the beginning of the article. An Abstract is a brief synopsis of what the article is about
Scholarly Articles usually have a lengthy Reference List at the end to cite the previous research used to support the article's conclusions
Scholarly Articles typically don't include advertisements or large color photos (unless the photos are supporting the research).
Scholarly Articles often include graphs, tables, and charts describing the conclusions of a study or experiment
See Image Below: Multiple authors listed with credentials and an abstract is included