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Public Administration

The resources in this guide will help support the research needs of students enrolled in the Public Administration program.

Identifying Sources Infographic

Scholarly or Non-Scholarly?

An academic or scholarly resource has been written to "inform and report on original research or experimentation" (Franklin University Learning Commons, 2023). Academic/scholarly resources are usually journals or journal articles. 

A peer-reviewed resource has been "reviewed by scholars or researchers in the field." This can take YEARS to complete! 

When searching in a database, look for an option to filter by "scholarly journals," "peer-reviewed journals," or something similar. 

Example: Journal of Popular Culture

Struggling to read a scholarly article? You're not alone! They can be very dense and difficult to read. Watch the below video for some tips and tricks on reading and understanding scholarly articles. 

Pro tip: try using the CTRL + F (COMMAND + F for Mac users) feature to search quickly for key words, phrases, names, etc. within a document. 

A professional or trade resource has been written by professionals for professionals in that same field. They are NOT peer-reviewed. A professional resources can be books/ebooks, magazines, or news articles. 

When searching in a database, look for an option to filter to "trade publications." 

Example: Salon Today (magazine for hairdressers)

Other or popular resources have been written by the average person. They're sometimes written by a professional in the field, but not always! These are NOT peer-reviewed, but may still contain helpful stats or opinions. Popular resources can be books/ebooks, magazines, news articles, podcasts, documentaries...the list goes on! 

When searching in a database, look for an option to filter by "magazines," "news," or "nonfiction." 

Example: Mindhunter by John E. Douglas

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