What is a Scholarly Journal?
THE TERM “scholarly journal” refers to a particular type of periodical. So what does “periodical” mean? “Periodical” is
the generic term for any publication that appears more than once a year such as newspapers, magazines, and newsletters.
Your professor may use any of the following terms to refer to scholarly journals: “juried publications,” “peer-reviewed
publications,” “primary research,” or “original research.” Don’t let this confuse you.
Ask for assistance in finding scholarly journal articles on your subject. This will save you a lot of time and trouble!
WHAT MAKES THEM DIFFERENT?
First--scholarly journals exist in order to make research articles written by scholars readily available to other scholars and
Second--only the person or people who actually did the research can submit an article for publication (no second-hand
Third--each article undergoes a rigorous review by an editorial board composed of researchers in whatever field the
journal covers (peer-reviewed) before being accepted.
Therefore, the quality of the information contained in scholarly journals is much higher and more reliable than in ordinary magazines.
HOW CAN I RECOGNIZE THEM?
· No advertisements at all or very few (usually for research tools).
· Few pictures, mostly charts, graphs, or maps.
· Limited use of color.
· Published by professional, research, or academic organizations.
· An abstract (summary) of the article may appear on the first page.
· There will be a bibliography, also known as a list of references or sources.
· Sometimes footnotes or endnotes take the place of a bibliography.
EXCEPTIONS & OTHER PROBLEMS
Some journals do have color pictures particularly art journals.
If you find a full text article in a database you won’t be able to check for advertisements. Rely on the appearance of a bibliography instead.
Sometimes short items such as book reviews or news events appear in scholarly journals. Be sure you are getting the much longer articles!
If you have any questions, please ask for assistance or call 881-2266.
Adapted from a document created by the PFAU Library at CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, SAN BERNARDINO