Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

SSP112: Is it Scholarly?

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines

The word "periodical" refers to magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals. Newspapers and popular magazines like People, or Road and Track, are familiar to everyone. Scholarly journals (also called academic, professional, or peer-reviewed journals), are written by experts for other experts. They are considered more authoritative than most other sources, because each article is written by experts and reviewed by a panel of experts from the same field before publication. In-depth research will usually require you to find scholarly journal articles on your subject.

Popular magazines Scholarly journals
Use everyday language Use technical language
Written for the general reader Written for experts by other experts
Do not include references to sources of information used to write the article Include a list of references at the end of the article
Generally make only passing references to research, if at all Often report on research and include descriptions of the methodology used and statistical analysis of the results (articles in the humanities, such as literature or religion, are excepted)
Articles are chosen and checked by editors Articles must pass a review by experts in the same field before publication.

Note: Scholarly journal articles are not always perfect.  Every year many articles are withdrawn because of errors detected subsequent to publication, or because of ethical violations on the part of one of the authors.

How to Read a Scholarly Article