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BIO 191: General Biology I

What are scholarly articles?

REMINDER: For your lab reports, you must use journal articles that are scholarly!


Scholarly Journal Articles


How to Identify a Scholarly Journal Article


  • Author is an expert in the field. The author's credentials in the field are established, and they are likely affiliated with a scholarly institution and hold an appropriate degree in their field.


  • There is a lengthy bibliography at the end of the article.


  • Based on original research, or new applications of others' research.


  • Written for a scholarly audience in that field of study (difficult for the general public to read)



Scholarly Article Example


"Factors explaining alien plant invasion success in a tropical ecosystem" 


What are popular articles?


REMINDER: For your lab reports, you want to avoid popular articles.


Popular Articles


How to Identify a Popular Article


  • Usually appear in magazines, newspapers or non-scholarly journals (with lots of glossy, shiny pictures, and advertisements).


  • Typically written by journalists (not by experts in the field).


  • Written for a popular audience, easy to read and understand.


  • Might summarize or present research findings for the public, but the author is not doing original research in a lab.


  • Typically do not include a bibliography.



Popular Article Example


"Gecko Tail Has a Mind of Its Own"