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BIOL 128 Research Guide: Source Evaluation/APA Style

APA Citation Style Links

Resources to help you use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style:

Popular vs. Scholarly vs. Trade Literature

In the research databases, there are tools that help you filter your article search specifically for the source formats of scholarly journals, magazines or newspapers. Still it is helpful to know the characteristics of the periodical literature you will encounter either in print or online as you do research. Of course information from scholarly journals is the best for academic research!

 

Scholarly/
Professional Journals

Popular Magazines
(and Newspapers)

Article Type

In-depth research articles, often peer-reviewed; usually includes an abstract; may be brief news of developments in the field or recent research, academic book reviews

Brief, nontechnical, current events, news; quick facts; short interviews, brief book reviews, ads

Purpose

To provide information about, report, or present original research or experiments

To provide general information to, entertain, or persuade the general public

Authors

Clearly defined; experts with significant knowledge in the subject area, scholars, and researchers

Not always identified; staff writers

Audience

Professors, researchers, and students, members of association; other professionals in the field

General 

Publisher

Typically a university or professional association

Typically commercial

Writing Style

Formal or semiformal; scholarly language; may use technical or specialized language

Informal; language is easy to understand

Documentation

Footnotes or endnotes; bibliography; suggested resources for more information

None

Illustrations/
Graphics

May include tables, graphs, charts, or equations to support the research

Often includes glossy photographs, ads, images

Examples

Sloan Management Review, Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Journal of Computer Information Systems, Journal of American History

Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Psychology Today, PC World, Washington Post