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BIS 390: The Research Process

Research guide for students in BIS 390

Popular, Scholarly, Trade Chart

Having trouble identifying the difference between scholarly, popular, and trade works? This chart can help.

  Popular Scholarly Trade
Purpose (Intent) To inform, entertain, or persuade about current events or popular opinion and to make money To inform, report, or make available original research, promote scholarly communication, or advance knowledge To provide news, trends, or practical information or examine problems or concerns in a particular field, trade, or industry
Audience General public Scholars, researchers, and students of specific discipline or field Practitioners of a particular field, trade, or industry
Creator Professional writers, journalists, freelance writers or creators that deal with a variety of topics regularly Scholars or researchers with extensive credentials and experience in the specific discipline or field and usually associated with a university or other organization Professionals or freelance writers or creators with experience in a particular field, trade, or industry
Language (Tone) Entertaining, non-technical language Specialized termini logy or jargon from the specific discipline or field Specialized terminology or jargon in the field or industry
References Sources rarely cited Sources always cited Sources occasionally cited, but not usually cited
Accountability Content not evaluated by experts in the field, often published or produced by commercial organizations Usually reviewed and critically evaluated by a subject expert or board of subject experts (peer review), published or produced by a scholarly organization or society (university, association, commercial enterprise, etc.) Content may be evaluated by experts in the field, often published or produced by a trade association