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How to Identify a Scholarly Journal: What is a scholarly journal?

What is a scholarly journal?

What is a scholarly journal and how is it different from a magazine or newspaper? All three are called periodicals because they are published at periodic intervals throughout the year.

  • Newspapers are usually published daily and are a great source of local information, editorials, and opinions. Most newspapers now publish Web sites. Examples of newspapers are the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
  • Magazines are good sources of information or opinions about popular culture or up-to-date information on current events. Popular magazines typically have colorful covers and lots of advertisements. Examples are Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and U.S. News & World Report. Articles are not usually written by experts in the field.
  • Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals have collections of articles written by experts in academic or professional fields. Journals are excellent for finding out what has been studied or researched on a topic and to find bibliographies that point to other relevant sources of information. Examples are: Journal of Psychology, Journal of Consumer Marketing, Lancet and Nursing Ethics, The word "journal" is not necessarily in the title of a scholarly publication.

Watch the videos below to learn how to differentiate between a popular magazine and a scholarly journal.

A useful reference in Lightner Library is:

Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age by Leslie F. Stebbins; Ref ZA3075.S74 2006.

How to recognize and find a scholarly article

This short video from Vanderbilt University illustrates how to recognize a scholarly article and how to find them in the library.

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Linda Park
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