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"The increased value of health and wellness in America and the world today has been matched by an ever, increasing amount of misinformation related to health, health products. This incorrect information is more readily available than the true scientifically proven information that people really need. The public’s enthusiasm for healthful living, improved wellness, and a reliance on self-help creates a receptive audience for dissemination of this misinformation. Thus it is extremely important for educators in health, physical education and the health professions to help students/clients analyze the information that is publicly available, recognize errors, understand that different opinions may exist, and think critically about important issues in health." -- retired Professor Randy Davidson.
Types of Information
The three main types of information out there are Popular, Trade and Scholarly. You can find good information in all three, but it's important to be aware of what type of publication you're reading and how you might want to use it in your research.
- Popular Press Publication/Magazine: A periodical that covers news, current events, or special interests. The articles are written for the general public and do not assume that the reader is familiar with the topic of the article. Famous popular magazines include Newsweek, Time, and Sports Illustrated.
- Trade Publication: A publication that falls between the categories of popular magazine and scholarly journal, with articles focusing on information relating to a particular trade or industry. Examples include Golf Digest (for golfers), Flex (for Bodybuilders) and the Journal of Athletic Training (physical therapists in the sports world).
- Academic or Scholarly Journal: A type of periodical that contains articles written by researchers or experts in a particular field, often academics. Scholarly journals are the major vehicle used for publishing original academic research. An article in a scholarly journal is usually documented with footnotes and/or a bibliography. They are often referred to as peer-reviewed or refereed journals. Research in Sports Medicine, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports, and Journal of Applied Physiology are three examples of scholarly journals.
Always remember to cite ALL of your sources, even images, websites and charts! Here are some good online guides to APA-style citations.