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Nutrition and Fitness

This research guide is meant to help users navigate resources for nutrition and fitness students and to guide them through beginning academic research.

Scholarly vs. Non-scholarly

Your instructor may ask you to use only scholarly resources for your paper.  What's the difference between a scholarly or non-scholarly resource?

Scholarly/ peer-reviewed sources are written by experts and academics and contribute to knowledge in a field by sharing new research findings. These sources are reviewed by a panel of experts in that particular field, and are often published by a professional association or a university press.  These experts ensure the information published is credible before accepting it for publication.

Non-Scholarly sources include websites, magazines, newspapers, and books that undergo no expert review prior to publishing; however, many of these sources (if vetted and found through academic databases) are reputable and valid and are considered Academic sources. All scholarly/ peer-reviewed sources are Academic, but not all Academic sources are scholarly and peer-reviewed.


Popular, Scholarly, or Trade

Different types of publications have different purposes and different audiences. When we talk about journals, we can usually divide these publications into three broad categories: scholarly, popular, and trade publications.

  Scholarly Journals Popular Journals Trade Journals
Purpose Informs and reports on original research done by scholars and experts in the field. Entertains and informs a general audience without providing in-depth analysis. Reports on industry trends and new products or techniques useful to people in a trade or business.
Authors Articles are written by subject specialists and experts in the field. Articles are written by journalists, freelance writers, or an editorial staff. Articles are written by specialists in a certain field or industry.
Audience Intended for a limited audience - researchers, scholars, and experts. Intended for a broad segment of the population, appealing to non-specialists. Intended for practititioners in a particular profession, business, or industry.

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article--What are the parts?

What is a Scholarly Article (video)

How do I read a scholarly article?

Primary vs. Secondary Sources in Science

Research Resources


Primary Sources

Definition: Reports original research; may also be referred to as primary articles, primary research or research studies.

Secondary Sources


Definition: Evaluations or interpretations of primary sources that provide commentary on the evidence.

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