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BUSM10000 Career Education - Hammond Campus

This is the guide for BUSM 10000 Library Orientation

Information Types

Classifying information based on the source.


The ability to recognize and evaluate different types of information is one of the most important research skills you can learn. The learning outcome for this session will be the ability to find and cite peer-reviewed journal articles from academic sources on your topic.   

It is possible to classify information based on the source and its intended audience. This session will discuss three different types of information:  popular, professional, and scholarly peer-reviewed. When the session is over you will be able to find, classify, and evaluate each type of information. Once you have found an appropriate source you will learn how to cite that source so that it conforms to one of the established academic publishing style such as American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or The University of Chicago (Chicago Style).

Popular information sources such as magazines and newspapers are targeted at non experts and are designed to have broad appeal.  The information in the popular press is not peer-reviewed, and this is important because it makes it unacceptable as an academic source. The topic of popular information can be anything such as health, business, or current events. It important to realize that popular information can cover the same topics as academic or professional information but does not share the same characteristics as these other types of information.

What does a popular information source look like?


  • A very general vocabulary easy to understand to someone without an advanced degree or training. You find examples of this in popular magazines such as Time or Newsweek and newspapers.


  •  Many of the popular information sources contain advertisements


  •  You will not see a bibliography 


  •  You will not see lot numerical data or data analysis


  • You will not know what credentials or educational background of the author


Example of an article in the popular press

The Secrets of Sleep


Professional information is written for a much smaller audience than popular information and in published in magazines, often referred to as trade journals, or newsletters.  The publications will look similar to the popular press, but the content of the publication will be specialized and have limited appeal only to others in that industry or profession.  However, articles in Trade Journals are not peer-reviewed and are not suitable source for academic research.

What do professional publications look like?

  • The vocabulary can be very specific with jargon being very common. This jargon is very meaningful to the community of professionals.  Jargon is one the hallmarks of specialization


  • The articles within the publication will give the author’s expertise and special training or educational background.  


  • You will see advertisements or announcements from professional organizations to recruit members.


  • You will find articles that discuss how legal, technical, and economic factors impact the industry or profession.


Example of an article from a trade journal/newsletter

Bariatric surgery improves obstructive sleep apnea in adolescents


For every type of information need there is best type information.  Academic Journals provide the best source of information for an academic research paper that you do for a class. Many times your instructor will request that you use only peer-reviewed articles from academic journals. The greatest concentration of peer-reviewed journal articles is located in the library’s databases.


What do peer-reviewed journal articles look like?


  • The language in these articles will be very technical and laden jargon. In fact, this jargon is a real asset in helping you find related articles.  You can determine the type of audience the article was written for based on the language used in the article. The more technical and scientific the language of the article is the more technical and scientific the audience


  • The credentials and education of the author will be plainly visible. Look for advance degrees and PhD.   The academic affiliations of the author will be stated. Look for affiliations universities and colleges 


  • The article will have an extensive bibliography and in text citations.  It will also conform one of the established academic publishing styles such as American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), or The University of Chicago (Chicago Style).


  • You will see extensive data analysis and tables and graphics. Sections of the article will be labeled with titles such as methods or conclusions.  



  • An editorial board or editor will be listed in the front of the publication. Look for academic affiliations of editors


  • A journal article will not have advertisements and will be longer than articles in the popular press.

Example of a peer-reviewed article


List of Business Databases