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Identifying Scholarly Journals vs. Other Periodicals

What is a Scholarly Journal?

No single definition for a scholarly journal can be used. To determine the nature of an article, a variety of criteria must be applied to reveal the majority trait. If you are unsure consult the Magazines for Libraries, New York: Bowker, CALL # REF 016.05 M27B, to find more information about the publisher and nature of the periodical or ask a librarian.

 

MAGAZINE ARTICLE

SCHOLARLY JOURNAL ARTICLE

AUTHOR*

Journalist; layperson; sometimes author unknown may be scholar but not in field covered

Expert, scholar, professor, etc; in the author's field

NOTES*

Few or no references or notes

Includes notes, footnotes and/or bibliography

STYLE

Journalistic, written for average reader

Written for experts, shows research

EDITING

Reviewed by one or more persons employed by magazine

Editorial board of outside scholars review articles before publishing.

AUDIENCE

General public

Scholars or researchers in the field

ADS

Many, often in color

Few or none; if any, usually look for books and other "scholarly" items

LOOK

Glossy, many pictures often in color

More professional, collegiate look, mostly print

FREQUENCY

Usually weekly or monthly

Usually quarterly or monthly

CONTENTS

Current events; general interest

More specialized; research topics

INDEXES

Found in general periodical indexes (e.g. Readers Guide)

Found in specialized subject indexes and databases

PUBLISHER

General magazine publisher

Usually published by some Association or university

EXAMPLES

Psychology Today

Journal of Clinical Child Psychology

Teaching PreK-8

Journal for Research in Mathematics Education

Time

Research in Science and Technological Education


When searching online databases for articles, mark peer-reviewed, juried, or refereed sources to help identify the more scholarly articles. Many databases appear to use peer-reviewed, juried and scholarly journals synonymously. These terms are indeed similar, but they are not the same thing. A peer-reviewed or juried journal, is one that has each article published reviewed by an independent, qualified individual in the same field as the author.

Sources:
Developed by Chuck Dintrone, Coordinator of Bibliographic Instruction, San Diego State University (3/91)
Minesota State Library
Cornell Univeristy Library
UTSA Library

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