Peer reviewed vs popular literature
This video will examine the major differences between peer-reviewed, scholarly literature
and major popular literature. A lot of the search strategies we’ll be using
Will be more of the same from the primary
vs. secondary sources video, but review can never hurt!
Repetition is the best way of getting this stuff
in your brain anyways but, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Time to move past my justifications and rambling and move along with our presentation.
So, taking our previous research topic of gun control and crime rates,
we’re going to use OneSearch and just see what comes up.
I’m going to click on our third option from The Christian Science Monitor.
This is clearly a newspaper article, and at only 342 words.
There is no option to view the article in a PDF,
however we can see the full-text anyways, so let’s just on ahead with that.
Scrolling down, you’ll find that there is no list of references
and and is simply categorized
as a “general interest periodical.”
Before moving on, keep the observations we made in mind
while examining this source. We’re going to make some cutthroat decisions
at the end of this about what falls under popular literature and all of this scholarly
literature I’ve been going on about. Okay, back to the search page!
Scrolling down we come across this title, “Does Gun Control Reduce Crime or Does Crime
Increase Gun Control?” Let’s go ahead and click on that.
As you can see, there’s a clear difference between this journal
entry and the periodical. But what are they?
Well, for starters, this article has much more length to it,
and includes several tables, which, when you click on them,
have statistics and a bunch of other numbers I
don’t really understand. And then there is also a list of footnotes
that are used throughout the article, and a list of references the author used
when writing it. So, in case you haven’t figured it out,
our first example with the periodical represents what would be considered
popular literature, while our journal entry is considered a
peer-reviewed and scholarly source. Just to be sure,
we can go back to the search page and refine our search by selecting peer-review in the
top left-hand corner,
and there you go! It’s the first title in the list.
Now that you’re getting so far in your research, knowing these things is pertinent to your
ultimate success. It will keep your head straight about what’s
what, what you can use,
and how you categorize your sources, something that will be necessary when you
near the end of your project and your approach
making your works cited or bibliography. But don’t be intimidated-
just take it one source at a time.