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NUR 1050

Introduction to Professional Nursing

Scholarly vs. Popular

What are Scholarly Sources?
  • Intended for academic research (written BY scholars FOR scholars) 

  • Cite (credible) sources 

  • Published in/as:

    • Scholarly/Academic Journals (often Peer Reviewed)

    • Theses or Dissertations

    • Books or Book Chapters 

What are Popular Sources?
  • Intended for a general audience (potentially for a specific demographic or community) 

  • Credibility varies (may not cite sources) 

  • Useful for perspectives, opinions, and very current events 

  • Published in/as:

    • Newspapers and Magazines (articles, opinions, editorials)

    • Websites or Blogs

    • Social Media

    • Infographics, Online Video, or Podcasts 

Types of Scholarly Publications

Peer-Reviewed Article

Articles that have undergone a rigorous review process (often including revisions to the original manuscript) by peers in their discipline, before publication in a scholarly journal.  

  • Also called a "refereed article"
  • This can include empirical studies, review articles, meta-analyses, and others.

Empirical Research Article

A study that aims to gain new knowledge on a topic through direct or indirect observation and research.

  • These include quantitative or qualitative data and analysis. 
  • Often include sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.

  • Also called a "primary article"

Review Article

A type of article (in scientific literature) that provides a synthesis or general overview of existing research on a particular topic. 

  • These are useful when you want to get an idea of a body of research that you are not yet familiar with. 

Systematic Review

A methodical and thorough literature review that is meant to identify and synthesize all scholarly research on a particular topic in an unbiased, reproducible way.  

  • The goal of this type of article is to provide evidence for practice and policymaking.

  • May involve a meta-analysis.


A type of research study that combines or contrasts data from different independent studies in a new analysis in order to strengthen the understanding of a particular topic.