Research Guide: Scholarly Journals

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

Why Use Scholarly Journals?

Different information types (books, magazines, newspapers, journals, videos, websites, social media postings...etc.) all have different purposes.

Scholarly journals have some specific purposes.  They help you to:

  • step into the ongoing scholarly conversation around complex topic - a better understanding of the world is improved through the rigorous academic inquiry that is shared in these scholarly journals
  • see how your topic has evolved over time - how it was understood or interpreted in the past versus how people look at the topic now
  • consider a breadth different author perspectives - this is crucial so that you can hear many voices in order to become broadly-informed on the topic and understand any debates
  • have access to new scientific discoveries - this is critical when you need up-to-date or cutting edge information
  • know you are accessing credible, reliable information - scholarly journals have very high standards and a review process that ensures quality information
  • verify or expand upon what you read or hear in popular media - often you can deepen your understanding of complex issues through the robust analysis provided by the scholarly journal format
  • develop the skill of incorporate high-level research into different areas of your life -  whether to meet the expectations for college-level assignments or for needs in your personal, professional and civic lives

Video: How Library Stuff Works: Scholarship as Conversation

Source: "How Library Stuff Works: Scholarship as Conversation" by McMaster Libraries, is licensed under a Standard YouTube License.

Learn how students are active participants in academic conversation with their peers, instructors, and all those who came before them.