Video courtesy of NCSU Libraries
Popular sources like magazines are widely available, usually less expensive to acquire, and can be understood by almost every person with basic literacy skills. They tend to promote, or make widely known, ideas and theories. These works may be professionally edited but do not go through a jury (peer-reviewed) process.
Scholarly or Academic Sources
The purpose of scholarly or academic sources is to share information within the subject field and they are based on original research and experimentation. They are suitable for academics, and are supported by a system of learning and study. They are less widely circulated than popular sources and may be understandable only to those who work or are learning about a particular field.
Scholarly sources are juried either through peer review or the referee process to determine that hte research meets a standard of accuracy, originality, and scholarly integrity.
"Peer review" refers to the policy of having experts in the field examine journal articles before acceptance for publication. Peer review ensures that the research described in a journal's articles is sound and of high quality.
“Refereed” means that either the author, reviewers, or both are "blind" to each other during the review process. This means the author does not know specifically who is reviewing their work, and/or the reviewer does not know who the author is prior to acceptance for publication. Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory is a trusted listing of refereed journals. If a journal in question is not on Ulrich’s list, examine the physical journal or journal website for its editorial policy, instructions to authors, and/or submission or publication requirements to help determine if the journal is peer reviewed or refereed.
*All refereed work is peer-reviewed, but not all peer-reviewed work is refereed.*