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Last Updated: Apr 5, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

Scholarly articles (also known as peer-reviewed or academic articles) are written by professionals and are reviewed by a group of peers before being accepted for publication. Scholarly articles are excellent sources of information but can be difficult to identify. This guide will better define scholarly articles and how certain databases can help you find them.

Scholarly Journal Articles

Popular Magazine Articles

  • written by experts in the field

  • reviewed by other experts in the field

  • signed by the author

  • include author's credentials and affiliation

  • begin with an abstract or summary of article

  • contain citations to the author's research

  • contain specialized language

  • are usually lengthy

  • usually do not contain advertisements

  • may be written by a non-expert or journalist

  • are only reviewed by the editor of magazine

  • may or may not be signed by the author

  • may not include author's credentials or affiliation

  • do not begin with abstract or summary

  • may or may not include citations

  • are written in non-technical language

  • are relatively short

  • are surrounded with advertisements

Still not sure if the journal article is scholarly?
Check to see if the journal is scholarly by searching for the journal in MLA Directory of Periodicals (requires Library VPN if off campus). If you can't find the journal in there, search Ulrichs International Periodicals Directory or Ask Us.


What Makes an Article Scholarly? Peer Review!


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Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals (Video Tutorial)


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