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HIS 101 - Online - Introduction to Western Civilization: Popular vs. Scholarly Sources

Scholarly vs Non-Scholarly Resources

Instructors often ask that students use only scholarly resources for their research.

Scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources include books and articles published in scholarly journals, encyclopedias, and books. 


  • These sources are reviewed by a panel of experts in that particular field, and are often published by a professional association or a university press. 
  • The experts ensure the information published is credible before accepting it for publication.



Non-Scholarly sources include websites, magazines, newspapers, and books that do not undergo any expert review prior to publishing.

Popular vs. Scholarly - A Chart

This chart may help you understand the difference between an article from a popular source (like a magazine) as opposed to an article from a scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed source (like a journal).