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Evaluating Information Sources
Use the information on this guide to help you understand and evaluate the different types of information sources.
It is important to understand the differences between popular, trade, and scholarly periodicals. When you ar doing research for your college classes, it is important to focus on scholarly resources. Always check with your instructor about using popular or trade publications to make sure they are acceptable for your assignments.
Popular: Inform and entertain the general public. Magazines like Time or Rolling Stone; or newspapers like the L.A. Times.
Scholarly: Disseminate research and academic discussion among professionals in a discipline. Journals such as Journal of Applied Communication Research. Usually peer reviewed or refereed.
Trade: Neither scholarly or popular sources, but could be a combination of both. Allows practitioners in specific industries to share market and production information that improves their businesses.
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