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BLS 499 - Liberal Studies Capstone: Compare Popular vs. Scholarly Journals and Websites

This eGuide presents Library resources to support your BLS 499 Capstone research.

Popular vs. Scholarly Journals and Websites - A Comparison

Popular vs. Scholarly Journals and Websites





General readers.

Professors, researchers, scholars, students.


Colorful, eye-catching, lively, slick.

Attractive, but also serious.


Many; banner ads that change on a regular basis.

Few, if any.


Commercial and non-profit organizations; personal home pages.

Educational institutions, faculty pages, professional associations, some commercial and non-profit organizations.


Staff writers, journalists, usually not experts in the field.

Experts in the field, professionals, credentials provided.


News oriented, entertaining,non-technical, opinions.

Original research, subject specific.


Easy to read, engaging.

Formal language, prior knowledge of subject matter required.


Usually short to medium in length, providing broad overview.

Usually quite lengthy in order to provide in-depth analysis on topic. 


Heavily illustrated, eye-catching.

Few illustrations. Include appropriate research-oriented tables, charts, and graphs.


Very few, if any

Bibliographies, footnotes



Timeliness is not as important


No specific words included or excluded, may be cutesy or contain slang

Language of the discipline is usually used; “study” or “research” will often be included in the title.


The "Academic Dishonesty Policy" section in your Course Syllabus defines Cheating and Plagiarism. Additional information including "Safe Practices" and a "Plagiarism Exercise" available at this link from the OWL at Purdue University.

Internet Research: What's Credible? / Films on Demand

Internet Research: What’s Credible? (29:00)

On the Internet, it’s incredibly easy, and fast, to research a topic with a few simple keystrokes. But it’s also incredibly easy to end up with unreliable and non-credible information that makes your research efforts fruitless. With an overwhelming abundance of options after doing an Internet search, how can you tell which results are reliable? In this video, viewers will learn strategies for narrowing down results and honing in on credible sources of information online. Experts such as college professors and media librarians offer advice, while students share their own experiences. A special section on one of today’s most popular research sites—Wikipedia—investigates whether it’s trustworthy or not for academic or professional use. A Coproduction of Films for the Humanities & Sciences and MotionMasters.