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Graffiti and Street Art: Research basics

Scholarly vs. Popular

   Scholarly Sources

Both scholarly and peer-reviewed articles are written by experts in academic or professional fields. Scholarly articles are published in journals for specific academic disciplines. Many scholarly journals are also peer-reviewed.

Peer-reviewed articles are submitted to reviewers who are experts in the field. Because the reviewers specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (hence “peer review”).

Both scholarly and peer-reviewed articles are excellent places to find what has been studied or researched on a topic, as well as find references to additional relevant sources of information. 

Popular Sources

Popular sources are written for a general audience and are intended to inform readers on a broad range of topics, such as news events, topics of current interest, and the business and entertainment worlds.  Examples include newspapers, magazines, best-sellers, and consumer-oriented websites. They can be useful for getting ideas for a topic or for background information. When used to document historical events, cultural practices, or public opinion, popular sources may be valuable to researchers as primary source material. 

Typical characteristics of popular sources:

  • informal in tone and scope, with language that is easily understood by the general public
  • often include illustrations or advertisements
  • content usually written by journalists, staff writers, or free-lance writers
  • do not report on original research, are not peer-reviewed, and rarely include citations 

Source: OCL Articles research guide

Searching OBIS

To find books on graffiti and street art search by SUBJECT and by KEYWORD.

Search OBIS by SUBJECT: Search OBIS by KEYWORD:  To remove irrelevant results from a KEYWORD search use AND NOT
Street Art Graffiti Graffiti and not Kinsey
Graffiti Graffiti and women  

Graffiti and Street Art books are located in several call number areas. Here are a few:

ND. 2590
GT 3912
NK 3654


OBIS vs Summon


The online library catalog of all print and electronic materials held by the Oberlin College Libraries.


Summon provides access to millions of sources of all types (books, articles, audio, videos, images, etc.) on nearly any subject.

Source: Search Tools page


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