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Characteristics of a Scholarly Journal
Scholarly, academic or peer-reviewed journals are very different from the types of popular or general interest magazines you may be more familiar with.
Characteristics of Scholarly Journals
- Illustrations, if any, are graphs and charts, with few glossy color pictures
- Articles are lengthy and list references in footnotes or end notes
- Articles are written by someone who has conducted research in the field and is usually affiliated with a university or research center
- Content of articles reports on original research or experimentation
- Authors write in the language of their discipline; usually other scholars or college students, are assumed to have some knowledge of the field
- Often, but not always, are published by a scholarly professional association
- Few advertisements
Examples: Journal of American Folklore, Shakespeare Quarterly, Sex Roles, International Migration Review, Foreign Affairs.
Research Tip: If you have searched your topic and now have a list of articles, you can use the limit in the left side bar of your search results list to restrict your list to just articles from “Peer-reviewed journals”. Most of the online databases also have a similar limit for finding scholarly or peer-reviewed articles.
Video: Scholarly vs Popular Periodicals
Video: Scholarly and Popular Resources
Video: Scholarly versus Popular Sources
Popular and Trade Magazines are not Scholarly
- Articles are short and written to inform or entertain the general public
- Often are illustrated with glossy or color photographs
- Articles are seldom foot-noted and the source of information is seldom given
- Authors are usually on the staff of the magazine or are freelance writers
- Advertisements are aimed at the general public
Examples: Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Psychology Today, People Weekly, Vogue
- Articles frequently focus on how to do a job better
- Articles usually do not reflect original research
- Journal often publishes job listings
- Articles may not be footnoted or have few footnotes
- Often published by a scholarly professional association
- Usually contain news or information of interest to people in that profession
- Advertisements are aimed at people in that profession
Examples: American Biology Teacher, Police Chief, American Psychologist, Southeastern Librarian.
Reprinted with permission from Boatwright Library at the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia
Coulter Library, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY