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Popular or Scholarly? Tips for Evaluating Periodicals: Grey Areas

Grey Areas

There are always grey areas with respect to pinning down what is popular or scholarly. Titles like Harpers, Atlantic MonthlyParabola, and Science contain sophisticated writing, footnoted articles, and authors that hold advanced degrees. At the same time, they display advertisements, have regular columns, photos, and brief articles, and are published by large media conglomerates.

If you are concerned about whether the article you want to use falls within a particular category, look for a bibliography, or lack of one, at the end of the article. Also, look for a brief biography of the author, either at the beginning of the article, or at the end of the publication, for information about the author's education and/or institutional affiliation. Most publications will identify the department and college, university or research lab where the author works.

Journal Locator

Use the Journal Locator to find where a periodical is located within the Berry Collection. If you have questions, ask a librarian!