Articles from scholarly journals, also called peer-reviewed, academic, refereed, or professional journals, are often required or strongly recommended by faculty at the university level for use in writing research papers and projects. This criteria is especially true for upper division courses and is essential in quality graduate work. These are some characteristics that distinguish scholarly journals from other periodicals:
News, Opinion, or Popular
|Journalist, freelance writer, editorial staff; might not be named
|Staff writers, freelance authors
|Researcher or scholar in the field; credentials listed
|Specific industry, trade, organization, or profession; jargon often used
|Other scholars, professionals, or students familiar with the field
What is the purpose of the publication?
|To inform or entertain
|To describe issues, problems, or trends in the field
|To report original research, experiments, or theories
Are sources cited?
|Sources may be cited or identified, but usually not
|Sometimes, usually not
|Always have footnotes or bibliography
Who publishes it?
|Commercial enterprise or an interest organization
|Commercial enterprise, trade association
|Professional association or commercial enterprise
Appearance in print?
|Popular: Hispanic, Jet, People;
News or general interest: Nation, Newsweek, Time
|Advertising Age, Progressive Grocer
|Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Marriage and Family, Social Science Quarterly, Theological Studies
Research articles written for scholarly journals are heavily reviewed and revised before being accepted for publication. Guidelines for contributors are usually listed somewhere in the publication. Articles are often anonymously reviewed by several other subject experts; this process is called "peer review" and such a periodical is considered a "refereed journal."
Comparing Scholarly Journals with Magazines was produced by Diane Duesterhoeft at St. Mary's University.
You may also request articles that the library does not have available full-text online or in print. In order to do this, you will need the full citation of an article (title, author, journal name, volume number, date, page numbers). Email the citation to me or fill out this request form. Be sure to provide your full name, the email that you want the article sent to, and the date you need it by. It usually takes at least 2 days to receive the article, but it may take longer depending on the article needed. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.