Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether an article is a scholarly article or a substantive news article because the same journal may have both types of articles. For example, a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine would be "substantive news", whereas a research article further on in the issue would be "scholarly."
Here are some characteristics of substantive news sources:
- The language of these periodicals is geared to a general, educated audience
- The main purpose of these periodicals is to provide information
- Articles may be written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar, or a free-lance writer
- May be published by professional organizations
- May be attractive in appearance with photos; some are in newspaper format
- While the article may be about empirical research, it is not the original publication of the research itself