Skip to Main Content

Graduate Student Services: Scholarly vs. Non-scholarly Materials

This guide is designed to meet the specific needs of graduate students who use the RWWL library.

Defining Scholarly Materials

Scholarly Journals
Scholarly journals usually deal with some type of research.  They are normally published by an academic organization (i.e., Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature)  Articles peer-reviewed, meaning that they have been thoroughly critiqued and edited by experts in the field of interest before they appear in a journal.
Other indicators of scholarly materials:
  • Journal focuses on one discipline (i.e. Journal of Immunology);
  • Author's credentials are included;
  • Present original research or experimentations;
  • More emphasis is placed on content than on appearance.
  • Specialized language, charts, and/or graphs
Non-Scholarly (Popular) Materials
Non-scholarly or popular materials are generally written for public interest.  Editors normally seek articles that deal with current issues and popular topics in culture and society.  Generally, non-scholarly materials are written for a particular audience; they are often opinionated and not peer-reviewed.
Examples of non-scholarly materials:
  • Popular magazines (i.e. Sports Illustrated, Black Enterprise, Ladies' Home Journal)
  • Opinion magazines (i.e. The New Republic, National Review)
  • Newspapers
  • News magazines (i.e. Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report)
  • Trade journals (i.e. Beverage World, Advertising Age)

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Imani Beverly
111 James P. Brawley Dr. SW
Atlanta, GA 30314