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Psychology Resources: What is a scholarly journal?

Guide to print and online psychology resources at Lightner Library

Newpapers, Magazines and Scholarly Journals!

As you proceed through your program, you may be required to cite scholarly articles in your research papers. Or you may have to critique a scholarly article. 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.

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

Another video on identifying scholarly articles

This great video on how to identify scholarly articles come from the Cornell University Library.

How to 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.

Reference Librarian

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Linda Park
(315) 279-5208