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Syracuse University Libraries

Basic Research Strategies for the Social Sciences: Scholarly vs. Non-scholarly Articles

Basic research skills and resources in psychology, sociology and other disciplines of the social sciences. Research skills include: evaluating sources,finding and identifying journal articles, statistical information and websites.

Periodical Comparison Table

Authors Editors Audience Language Sources Advertising Examples
Journalists On staff General public Non-technical, brief

Quotes and facts often attributed in text; citations rare

Common, diverse New York Times, Globe & Mail, (Toronto, CA), Chicago Tribune
Authors Editors Audience Language Sources Advertising Examples
Journalists On staff General public Non-technical, consumer-focused

Quotes and facts often attributed in text; citations rare

Common, diverse Entertainment Weekly, Time, Good Housekeeping
Authors Editors Audience Language Sources Advertising Examples
Practitioners in field On staff General public Moderately technical vocabulary

Quotes and facts often attributed in text; citations rare

Selective, industry-focused

Brandweek, Restaurant Business, ArchitectAutomotive Industries

Authors Editors Audience Language Sources Advertising Examples
Scholars, researchers, experts in field Referees/ Peer Reviewers Scholars, researchers, experts in field Academic language and tone; technical vocabulary

Bibliographies and reference lists; footnotes and in-text citations

Rare, focused on related journals and conferences Journal of African American Studies, Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Active Learning in Higher Education

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article

Elements of a Scholarly Article

Elements of a Scholarly Article
Name of Section
Function
Relevant to
Abstract
Brief summary of the article. Readers making decisions about whether the article might apply to their own research.
Author Bios
Research Institution and department the author is affiliated with and possibly contact information. Readers can decide to research other works by a particular author or try to contact the author about their research.
Introduction
Gives context and background. Readers learn more about the authors' reasons for taking on this research.
Literature Review
Analyzes, responds to, and/or identifies gaps in related research. Readers want to learn more about the scholarly conversation to which authors are contributing.
Methods/Results
Outlines how the research was done and the results found. Those who want to validate, replicate, or adapt the authors' research.
Discussion
Reflects on the implications of the research. Readers want to learn about the potential impact of the research.
In-text Citations/References

In-Text Citations - References found in the text of the article if sources are quoted, summarized or paraphrased.

References -List of works cited by the authors in the article.

In-text Citations -to help readers easily find sources in the References or Cited Works page that corresponds to the referenced passage (MLA Style Guide).

References - Information necessary for the reader to locate and retrieve any source the authors have cited in the body of the article.

Appendices
Supplemental materials, including examples of instruments, such as charts, or data-sets that may have been used as part of the research. Those who may want to adapt these materials for their own uses.

 

Source: University of Albany, University Libraries –Common Elements of a Scholarly Article