There are three primary types of articles that serve as ways of disseminating information. Each serves different purposes and different audiences:
Scholarly research article: written by an expert in the field and reviewed by peers who are experts in the same area. In many databases, you can limit your search to scholarly, peer-reviewed or refereed journals to weed out any non-scholarly content.
Professional/Practice article - Professional magazines can have articles written by experts in the field or by staff writers. The articles are only reviewed by editors for style, so they go through a less rigorous review process. The articles often do not contain reference lists.
Popular magazine article - Written for a general audience rather than for professionals or scholars. Examples include Time, The New Yorker, and Rolling Stone.
Articles in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals have particular characteristics that can help you recognize them:
1. Author's name, position, affiliation (usually a university), and contact information are listed.
2. The article has clearly labeled sections. These section titles may vary, but usually include at least:
3. The article has a list of cited references at the end.