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Search methods & techniques: Scientific or not?

Scientific or not?

Scholarly or scientific articles and books are written by academics for academics and usually focus on a specific topic. The aim of a publication is to present research results and to discuss their meaning.

Authors of scholarly publications have to carefully support their conclusions. They do so by:

  • referring to sources used in the text and in the bibliography at the end of a publication;
  • stating the research methods used;
  • having their work reviewed by fellow scientists (peers).

A publication has to be reviewed by fellow scientists in the same field. Peer reviews are conducted before an article is published in a scholarly journal.

Learn how to distinguish between scholarly and non-scholarly information (popular & trade magazines) for your assignments by watching the video What’s a scholarly source? (2:25)


In the exercise Scientific or not? you see characteristics of both popular and scientific journals. Drag each card into the appropriate zone and discover all differences between scientific or not!

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