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SPT 270 Sport and Society -- Dr. Lottes: Popular vs. Scholarly Resources

A study guide of finding scholarly articles for research projects in Sports and Society

Popular magazines vs. Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) journals

Here are some broad guidelines to determine if your article is scholarly or not.  There is NOT an exact definition for scholarly journals.

Is it a "Scholarly Peer-Reviewed" article?

A peer-reviewed article means the article has been reviewed by a panel of experts that research in the same area (peers), and the article is not only checked for grammar and punctuation, but the experts review to see that the way the research was conducted is valid. Look at the following article, see if it contains the points below:   

Sato, M., Jordan, J. S.,& Funk, D.C. (2015). Distance Running Events and Life Satisfaction: A Longitudinal Study. Journal of Sport Management, 29(4), 347-361. doi:10.1123/JSM.2013-01164.

  1. --contains an actual research study.

  2. --lists the authors of the article, and their credentials and current job will be listed in a footnote or at the end of the article.

  3. --if you have the PDF, the page will contain only text, with tables and charts, and no commercial graphics or advertisements on the pages.

  4. --has an abstract on the first page and a substantial bibliography at the end.

  5. --is longer and written in the technical language of people who work in that field.



Or, is it a Magazine article?

A magazine article is usually checked only for grammar and punctuation. There is usually a single editor, who is not an expert in that field.

Look at the following article, see if it contains the points below:

CHEREPA, C. (2014). AN ULTRAMARATHON MIND. American Fitness, 32(6), 58-59.

  1. --might not discuss research at all, just states facts or opinions

  2. --sometimes there is no specific author -- unsigned

  3. --If you use the PDF file, there will be prominent advertisements throughout the page.

  4. --has few, if any, references in a list at the end of the article.

  5. --has short articles written in non-technical language for a general audience.