You will often be required to use scholarly information in your assessments. Scholarly information is written by an expert in the field, for people who are also experts in that field, and is an authoritative source of information. Scholarly articles are generally published in journals, and often go through a formal peer review process.
Scholarly articles will generally include the following:
Examples of scholarly information sources include academic journals, conference papers and theses.
Popular information is written at a more general level. It will often be written by journalists rather than experts in the field, at a level that can be understood by the general population. Popular information can help you understand a topic, but does not have the same level of authority, depth or academic rigour as scholarly material.
Popular articles generally:
A newspaper is an example of a popular information source, as are magazines such as New Scientist, Australian Geographic and Home Beautiful.
The link below takes you to a handy chart comparing scholarly, trade and popular articles
For more information, watch this video from Vanderbilt University:
Many academic journals go through a process called 'peer review'. This means that when an article is submitted to the journal, it will be sent to other experts in that field who will review it for accuracy and bias. The article will only be published if it passes this review process. Selecting 'peer reviewed' journals for your research is a great way to ensure that you are sourcing quality material.
Most of the Library's subscription resources, including those you can search with the Discovery catalogue, contain a combination of academic/scholarly and more general/popular resources. Generally, there will be a box in the search limiters that you can check to limit your search to peer reviewed material. The Science Direct database contains only peer reviewed material.
Want to know more about how the peer review process works? Watch this video from NCSU library.
(This video is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.)