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Chester Fritz Library Research How Tos

Provides information on library research

Popular, Trade, Scholarly Explained


  • works that are meant for a ‘lay’ (meaning inexpert) audience, not an academic audiencemagazine cover
  • simplified works meant to convey experts’ ideas in ordinary language


Citation Example

King, Peter. "Concussions." Sports Illustrated 113.16 (2010): 34-40.

  • popular title easily available (e.g. at a grocery store)
  • this cover story about NFL players and effects of brain injury is 3 pages long
  • written by a reporter who interviews experts




  • a work that is written for an audience of people working in a profession
  • is neither scholarly material (written for the academy) nor popular (written for the public)
  • usually comes with membership to a professional organization


logoCitation Example

lair, Richard, and Susan Capel. "The Use Of Coaches." Physical Education Matters 3.3 (2008): 5.

  • Physical Education Matters comes with membership to the Association for Physical Education
  • this article on the training of football coaches is 3 pages long
  • practical advice for the workplace

Find professional websites and go to them

Look for publications, reports, statistics, etc.


  • scholarly—coming from the ‘academy’ (colleges and universities)
  • may have the words journal or research in the title
  • authored by a professor or researcher
  • usually based on research, citing the scholarly work of others in the field
  •  Peer reviewed/refereed — gold standard for academic work; it has been looked over and assessed for errors and significance by an academic’s peers (usually other professors who are also experts in the field of study)
  • Note: an article can be academic without being peer reviewed. Also, an article can be in a peer reviewed journal but not be a research article (e.g. book review)


journal cover

Citation Example

Pontifex, Matthew B., et al. "The Relation Of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury To Chronic Lapses Of Attention." Research Quarterly For Exercise & Sport 83.4 (2012): 553-559.

  • several authors (researchers) work on the one article
  • longer articles (higher page count)
  • higher level writing, sometimes difficult to understand
  • different terminology (traumatic brain injury vs concussion)
  • publication date important to note

Here are two sample articles that someone researching concussions may find. Look at the articles and using the criteria outlined in this guide, discuss the usefulness of each for an academic research paper.

Article Example 1: Click on this link to access the article, look for PDF and click on that icon

Edwards, Jonathan C., and Jeffrey D. Bodle. "Causes And Consequences Of Sports Concussion." Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics 42.2 (2014): 128-132. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.

Article Example 2: Click on this link to access the article, look for PDF and click on that icon

Gregory, Sean. "'It Didn't Cross My Mind That I Wouldn't See Him Come Off That Field.' (Cover Story)." Time 184.12 (2014): 32-39. Academic Search Premier. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.