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Human Resource Management

Scholarly, Professional, and Popular Articles

As you search in the library, you will find articles that fall into three general categories: ScholarlyTrade, and Popular. See below for more information about distinguishing between each category and tips for filtering for the different articles in library databases.



Chart indicating different characteristics between scholarly, trade, and popular articles


Video Tutorial

Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles are the most common articles you'll find when searching in the Library and are often needed for course assignments and discussion boards:

  • Written by experts in a field, such as scholars and researchers
  • Intended for other experts and scholars to share new research, discoveries, or ideas
  • Peer-reviewed by other experts in the field to ensure the information and research methods are credible
  • Include in-text citations and/or a list of references at the end of the paper showing the sources the author(s) used when writing the article

Screenshot of a scholarly article

Click the image to see the article in a database.

For more help understanding academic articles, watch this video:


Professional Articles

Professional or trade articles are often found in industry-specific magazines and websites.

  • Written by industry members or journalists
  • Intended for other members of the industry
  • Share news and recent breakthroughs that affect the industry
  • Articles are often reviewed and proofread by a magazine editor before publication (not peer-reviewed)
  • Few or no citations within the article
  • Examples: Harvard Business Review, Automotive Industries, and HR Magazine

Screenshot of a professional article from the Harvard Business Review

Click the image to see the article in a database.

Popular Articles

Popular articles are found on websites and in newspapers and magazines, often through a search engine like Google.

  • Often written by journalists, although some articles may not list an author
  • Intended for a general audience with little or no knowledge of the subject
  • Share general information, such as news about current events
  • May be reviewed by an editor before publication (though not always, depending on the source)
  • Few or no citations within the article
  • Examples: newspapers (i.e. The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal) and magazines (i.e. Time or Wired)

Screenshot of a popular article from the Wall Street Journal

Click the image to see the article on the WSJ website.