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Great Basin College Library
McMullen Hall
1500 College Parkway
Elko, NV 89801

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Library HOW-Tos: Popular v Scholarly Journals

Popular v Scholar Journals  
The below will assist you in determining if an article is scholarly, peer reviewed, or if it is popular. This makes a BIG difference and you must know this for scholarly / academic research! 


  • A lot of advertisements
  • A lot of pictures
  • Entertainment is the purpose 
  • Subjects are not scholarly 
  • Author(s) has no affiliation with an educational, medical, or like institution 
  • Cannot find an author information 
  • There are no or few works cited listed
  • The writing is simple, written for large array of readers 
  • Articles are usually short 
  • Data tables, statistics, or other signs of research is not contained within article 


  • Author(s) are prominently displayed 
  • Author(s) have credentials, usually affiliated with an educational or research institution 
  • Research is displayed within data tables and/or statistics
  • There is a works cited/references 
  • The works cited are scholarly and not popular - from research journals 
  • Usually little to no pictures (unless it is a data table)
  • Has been reviewed by other professionals in the field for accuracy (peer reviewed)


Tips in databases to spot peer reviewed and scholarly articles:  
Most of these are listed in the CRAAP test, but when you are in the database(s) there are many options to help you retrieve scholarly research.  See the examples below!

1.  FILTERS!  This is a search interface from Academic Search Premier, look to the side for filters for peer review, currency, and references to prove research

2.   After you perform a search, also look for filters, again usually on the side


When looking at an article's information, seek information about the authors, their affiliations, the use of statistics or charts (shows research) like the article below:  This is scholarly and peer reviewed.


4.  This is the actual article. Again, look for the clues everywhere!Methodologyis clearly stated, the authors' affiliationsare clearly stated, and there is a large number of references - the works cited. This is clearly scholarly and peer reviewed.

If you are unsure if what you chose is good for academic research, please ask a librarian or your professor. Everyone at GBC wants you to succeed!   

  • Evaluating information is a critical skill in this information age!
  • Many websites are available to you freely and easily, however some may be incredibly bias, out of date, or just plain wrong!
  • Please be careful with what information you use. The above will give you guidelines to assist you determine if the information you found, especially online, is credible and valid.
  • Information literacy and critical thinking are very difficult skills to acquire. Most need a lot of practice through college to become an information literate person. Once you obtain a high information literacy skill, you are ready for lifelong learning!!

*Don't make a fool of yourself! USE FACTS*


For More Information Contact

Great Basin College Library
McMullen Hall
1500 College Parkway
Elko, NV 89801

Why Great Basin College

Great Basin College wants to be your choice for higher education. GBC offers associate and baccalaureate level instruction in career and technical education and academic areas. About 3,800 students are enrolled online from across the country and on campuses and centers across 86,500 square miles, two time zones, and ten of Nevada’s largest counties. We border Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and California. We are GBC!

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