Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Nov 25, 2018     Views: 5356

"Popular" sources are publications like newspapers and magazines, that do not typically impose strict publishing guidelines on authors.  When you are looking for opinion, news, entertainment or pop culture references, popular sources are your best bet.

But, before you cite a popular source in your research paper for a class, double-check your assignment instructions or ask your instructor.  If you've been asked to use peer-reviewed or scholarly sources only, click here for tips on tracking down those instead.

Primo makes it easy to pinpoint articles from magazines and newspapers:

On your results screen, look under "Resource Type" and click the Articles filter.  Then, hover over the Peer-reviewed journals filter and click the red "exclude" icon.  Your search results will now be limited to articles from periodicals like magazines and newspapers. To keep this filter in place for the duration of your session, see instructions here.

Popular article filters in Primo


The library's EBSCO and ProQuest databases will search both popular and scholarly articles, and they'll also let you specify what kind of article you need.

For example, in ProQuest databases:

1.  Click the  "Advanced search" link at the top of the page. 

2.  In the search box, type your keywords.   Be sure that the "full text" box underneath it is checked.

3.  Below the search box, scroll down and choose the "Source type" that you want.  Magazines and newspapers are both options -- simply check as many options as you need. 

4.  Click "search" and browse your results. 

ProQuest Source Type options

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