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Evaluate Information

Tips on evaluating the sources you find in your research.

Scholarly and Popular Materials

Scholarly and Popular Materials

When conducting research it is important to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles. Journal articles are typically referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are usually considered "popular". A third category, "trade" magazines or journals, are written for professionals in a particular field but are not strictly research related. Below are additional criteria to consider when differentiating between journals and magazines.


Scholarly Journal

Popular Magazine

Trade Magazine/Journal

Sample Cover


Academics and professionals

General public

People in the business


Experts or specialists (PhD). Unpaid.

Journalists, staff writers, or freelance writers. Paid.

Staff writers, industry specialists, or vendor representatives. Paid.

Editorial Review

Journal editorial board and peer reviewers. Unpaid.

Professional editors. Paid.

Professional editors. Paid.

References / Works Cited

Almost always



Stated Purpose

"Publishes peer reviewed research papers in... science, technology, packaging, and engineering of foods.... Special emphasis is given to fundamental and applied research...."    

"Offers 'life through the lens of food' — cooking in, dining out, culture, travel, entertainment, shopping and design."

"Provides ideas for foodservice directors, managers and chefs through coverage of industry issues and events, operational topics and food trends that affect the noncommercial foodservice industry."  

Example Article Title

"Optimization of the production of shrimp waste protein hydrolysate using microbial proteases adopting response surface methodology"    

"In search of the perfect meatball"

"UCLA hospitals go to antibiotic-free meats"


$436/year (6 issues)

$15/year (12 issues)

$80/year (12 issues)


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