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Physical Therapy: Popular vs. Trade vs. Scholarly

Use this guide as a starting point for your research in the area of physical therapy as well as topics in general health, physiology and kinesiology.

Scholarly Information

 

 

Popular Magazines or Newspapers CAN be good sources for research projects

 

However, they are NOT considered scholarly journals

 

 

 

 

 

How can you tell the difference
between different types of perio
dicals? 

 
       
  magazine image magazine image magazine image  

 

Popular magazines

Trade, industry and professional publications

Scholarly
(or "academic"
or "peer-reviewed") journals

 

AUTHOR

Usually a staff writer or journalist. Sometimes the author's name is not provided.

Writers with subject knowledge or practitioners and professionals.

Primarily experts, often university researchers, whose credentials are usually included.

 

AUDIENCE

Written for the "average" person who doesn't have in-depth knowledge of a topic.

Multiple levels of readers: general public to practitioners and professionals.

Aimed at professionals, researchers, scholars, or others with more in-depth knowledge of the topic.

 

CONTENT

Entertainment, opinion, current topics, quick facts.

Trends, forecasts, news and events in the field; products, book reviews, employment, biography.

Research, analysis, scholarship. Often includes abstract, research methods, conclusion, bibliography.

 

LENGTH

Shorter articles providing broad overviews of topics.

Short newsy items to longer, in-depth articles.

Longer articles providing in-depth analysis of topics.

 

APPEARANCE

Glossy, color pictures, advertisements.

Ads related to the field or profession.  Charts, tables, illustrations.

Dense text, usually with graphs and charts, fewer specialized, advertisements.

 

CREDIBILITY

Articles are generally evaluated by staff editors rather than experts in the field.

Articles reviewed by editors from professional associations or commercial/trade organizations.

Articles reviewed by a "jury" of experts--"peer-reviewed" or "refereed"—before publication.

 

EXAMPLES

People, Essence, Hispanic, Good Housekeeping, Out, Time, Vogue, Sports Illustrated

RN, Library Journal,  Professional Builder, Contractor Magazine, Restaurant Hospitality

Journal of American History, Nature, Journal of Business, Lancet, Bioscience

 

Adapted from ACC Library Services Libguides.

 

 

Evidence that a book is scholarly:
 
A scholarly book will: 
  • ›Be written by an expert or experts in the field (PH.D., M.D., etc preferred)
  • ›Usually present new research or analysis of previous research
  • ›Often be printed by a University Press
  • ›Not be written for popular audiences
  • Include extensive references to other scholarly work

Other Signs to Look For To Spot a Scholarly Book:

  • ›Read the record for the author and publisher. Are the credentials academic (an university press, a professor as an author)?
  • Academic language and subject matter?
  • In-text citations?
  • Thorough and exhaustive (long) reference list? 
Urban Cities

THE AUTHOR BIO ESTABLISHES THE AUTHOR'S EXPERTISE IN HER FIELD. SHE HAS A PhD, AND HAS RESEARCHED, WORKED AND WRITTEN IN HER FIELD SINCE 1990.

 

NOTE THE PRESENCE OF IN-TEXT CITATIONS. ALL CLAIMS ARE THOROUGHLY SOURCED AND BACKED UP.

NOTE TOO THE ACADEMIC TONE AND LANUGAGE OF THE TEXT.

THE WORK IS THOROUGHLY REFERENCED. THIS IS PAGE 1 OF 15.

 

Evidence that an artricle is scholarly:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Citation information: Authors, Article title, Journal information and Abstract:


In-Text Citations:


The Methodology or Experiment:


The Results and Discussion:

 


Data - Tables and Charts:


The References:

 

NOT a scholarly empirical research article

NOT an empirical research article.

Example:
This article IS from a scholarly journal, but it is a book review, NOT a research article