The articles found in many scholarly journals go through a peer-review process, meaning that they have been checked by other academics and experts. In other words, the information provided is reliable. In addition to containing scholarly information, journals often include reports or reviews of current research, topic-specific information, and notifications of new publications.
Popular articles, usually found online or in magazines, are often written by a journalist or professional writer for a general audience. They tend to be shorter than scholarly journal articles and rarely give full citations of their source. Popular articles from magazines are helpful if you want background information on a topic that is new to you or very current information.
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