This is the "How to Identify a Scholarly Article" page of the "Scholarly Articles: How to Find/How to Write" guide.
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Scholarly Articles: How to Find/How to Write   Tags: articles, publications, scholarly  

Tips on how to identify, locate, and use scholarly articles found in journals
Last Updated: Feb 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

How to Identify a Scholarly Article Print Page

Basic Scholarly Article Format


Peer-reviewed: It is a tough process


Scholarly Journals vs. Other Periodicals

Articles from scholarly journals, also called peer-reviewed, academic, refereed, or professional journals, are often required or strongly recommended by university faculty. Here 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
General public 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, follows detailed format
Who publishes it?
Commercial enterprise or an interest organization Commercial enterprise, trade association Professional association or commercial enterprise
Appearance in print?
  • May have glossy pages
  • may have colorful photos and images
  • lots of advertising
  • Cover depicts industrial setting
  • glossy paper
  • pictures and illustrations in color
  • advertising related to the field
  • each issue starts with page 1
  • Somber, serious
  • uses technical language
  • may have charts, graphs, equations
  • limited advertising
  • little or no color
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



Source: Louis J. Blume Library at St Mary's University in San Antonio, TX.  


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