Mind What You Read

Posted: November 25, 2010 in Uncategorized

What you learn comes from many sources – some more credible than others. You might learn something new by reading a blog, a popular magazine such as Time, or a “peer reviewed” scholarly journal.

Each source of information contains varying amounts of proven factual knowledge, a different focus and point of view, and is intended for different audiences.

The good thing about blogs is that they allow you to comment or to contact the blogger if there is something concerning you, or you have further questions. You can check up on their sources this way and find out if what they are saying is in fact accurate.

Popular magazines (both in print and online) are the main source for most people, but too often do not contain accurate information for the context that is being presented.

Scholarly articles are published in professional research journals and are written by researchers in a particular field to be read by other researchers in that field. Most scholarly journals are also peer-reviewed journals, which contain scholarly articles that have been evaluated by the authors’ fellow researchers, or peers, before the articles are published.


The research that goes into a PEER-REVIEWED article before it is published is much greater than that of an everyday popular magazine. Furthermore, the research is documented; notes and references are always included.

The author of a scholarly article typically has professional credentials in the discipline in which he or she is writing.

In peer-reviewed scholarly journals, an author’s research is reviewed by other experts in the field to check the quality and validity of the author’s research and to ensure that the information meets the standard required for publication in that journal.

The peer review process is very different from the publication process for a popular magazine, such as Time. Popular magazine articles are written by staff writers for a general audience. These staff writers submit the articles to their editors, who then decide whether the article will be published.

So in closing, be wary about where you get your knowledge from, and be critical of what you read!

Parts of this blog post are copied from the following website at the Ohio Dominican University discussing ‘Research’: http://www.ohiodominican.edu/library/help/knowhow/module_articles/M2_A5.htm


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