Research Guide: Scholarly Journals

Use this guide to learn more about scholarly journals and the peer-review process

Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journal Article Checklist

Scholarly, Academic, Peer-Reviewed?

Important Information About Scholarly Journals

The parts of the articles, as well as images showing what these parts may look like, are outlined below.
  1. Scholarly journals are often referred to as Academic Journals, Peer-Reviewed Journals, and Research Journals
  2. Purpose: Scholarly journals are educational and serve to share information and original research between scholars in particular academic disciplines

(click on image to enlarge)this is an image of 4 covers of journal articles, showing how specific their contents are and how complex their titles. Text included in the image are listed in item 1 and 2

  1. Subject Matter: Articles contain very specific and specialized information. Usually articles are reports of research on narrow and subtle aspects of a particular field of study
  2. Language: Language is appropriate for scholarly dialog; articles often contain context terminology, jargon, or mathematical formulas used in a particular field of study

 (click on image to enlarge)this image is a screenshot of a journal article, pointing out the complex language in the article and includes the text in points 3 and 4

  1. Format: Articles have abstracts that summarize the content of the article. Articles are often long and complex, typically with standardized sections such as Introduction, Literature Review,  Methods, Results, Conclusion, and Discussion 
  2. Graphics: Journals are mostly text-based and often look "plain" with few photos or graphics. Graphics and charts often illustrate research results or statistics

‚Äč(click on image to enlarge)this image shows a screenshot of the results section and includes the text in points 5 and 6

  1. Bibliography: All sources are cited in a bibliography
  2. Authors: Authors are academic researchers or specialists in their field whose articles have passed scrutiny and review by peers/fellow specialists in their field; author affiliations (title, degree, academic position held) are usually mentioned in the article

(click on image to enlarge)

This is a screenshot of a journal article pointing out the citations and author section and includes the text from points 7 and 8

  1. Publishers: Journals are usually published by educational institutions, professional organizations, or non-profits

Video: How Library Stuff Works: Scholarly vs Popular Sources

Source: "How Library Stuff Works: Scholarly vs. Popular Sources" by McMaster Libraries, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn about the differences between scholarly and popular sources and how to identify them when researching your topic.