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Psychology Research Guide: What is a Scholarly Article?

Scholarly v. Popular Sources of Information in Psychology

In most college classes, your sources will be from scholarly peer reviewed publications. In psychology and other science classes, you will be required to use original, primary research reports as your main sources of information.  You may also use review articles published in scholarly peer reviewed publications along with books written or edited by professionals in the field such as your textbook. Avoid popular press sources which can be oversimplified, inaccurate, biased and/or rely on anecdotal evidence.

You may have an assignment requiring you to compare and contrast popular press and scholarly publication sources of information. This document details the distinction between popular press and scholarly publications and details the unique features of scholarly publications. If you are ever in doubt regarding whether an article is popular press versus scholarly, consult your instructor or a Jefferson College librarian.

Is the article a peer-reviewed research study?