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What are Scholarly Journals?: Introduction

This guide defines and describes scholarly journals; gives examples; and gives tips for finding them. #scholarly journals #articles #magazines #popular

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DEFINITION 1

  Cover of National Geographic with cheetah.

     Periodical: A generic term meaning any type of publication that is published more than once a year. Magazines, newspapers, newsletters, and journals are all periodicals.

DEFINITION 2

  Cover of the scholarly journal, Animal Behavior.

     Scholarly Journal: A special type of periodical preferred by researchers. Your professor may use any of the terms below, but they all mean the same thing—scholarly journals!

  • academic journals
  • juried publications
  • original research
  • primary research
  • refereed publications

What Makes Scholarly Journals Special?

  1. Scholarly journals exist in order to make results of original research done by scholars readily available to other scholars and researchers.
     
  2. Only the person or people who actually did the research can submit an article for publication (no second-hand information).
     
  3. Each article submitted is carefully examined by several reviewers who are experts and researchers in the relevant field, the peers of the author (peer-review process), before being accepted by a board of editors for publication.

Photo of star fish.

     Therefore, the quality of the information contained in scholarly journals is more reliable and of  higher quality than the information in ordinary magazines. It also is more complete. While an ordinary magazine may have an article that talks about the researchers interested in starfish and what they have been doing, you will not get the full details of the experiments or research conducted. A scholarly journal article written by the starfish researchers will tell you everything.

How Can I Recognize Them?

IN PRINT

  • No advertisements
  • Articles are lengthy
  • Articles have abstracts/summaries at the beginning
  • The language used is more complex than magazine articles
  • Articles have bibliographies/references at the end

ONLINE

  • Articles are lengthy
  • Articles have abstracts/summaries at the beginning
  • The language used is more complex than magazine articles
  • Articles have bibliographies/references at the end

How Do I Get Them?

     MOST OF the library's databases allow you to limit your search results to scholarly journals one way or another.

     Look for a box to click on the search screen or a menu option to the side of your list of results.

OR

Ask a librarian for assistance!

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