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BIOL 2389 SO Luyster: What is a Scholarly Journal?

Academic, Scholarly, or Peer-Reviewed?

Academic/Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed: Academic, Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed are somewhat interchangeable terms that describe a specific type of information resource. Here's the breakdown:

Academic/Scholarly Journal
An academic/scholarly journal is a publication that is authored by academics for a target audience that is mainly academic. The scholarly journal printed format isn't usually a glossy magazine, and it is published by a recognized society with academic goals and missions.  The publication will be targeted for professional or academic researchers and have in-depth analysis typically focusing on one discipline or academic field. The publication will likely be peer reviewed or refereed by external reviewers. The publisher should be a professional association or an academic press.

Peer Reviewed
A publication in which articles go through an official editorial process that involves review and approval by the author's peers (people who are experts in the same subject area). Most (but not all) scholarly publications are peer reviewed. Some trade publications are peer reviewed.

How to Distinguish Scholarly Journals from Popular Magazines

Scholarly journals differ from popular magazines in a number of important ways. Popular magazines are produced for a wide audience and provide basic information and/or entertainment. Scholarly journals are written for scholars, students, and researchers and exist to advance the cause of research in a given field. Here are some clues that will help you identify scholarly journals.

Scholarly journals:

  • Usually contain an abstract, or summary, before the main text of the article.
  • Contain reports of research results.
  • Always cite their sources with footnotes and/or bibliographies.
  • Have serious formats rather than the glossy, slick formats found in popular magazines.
  • Contain graphs or charts detailing the research described by the article.
  • Are written by scholars or researchers.
  • The authors’ affiliations will be listed on the first page or at the end of the article.
  • Are usually published by a professional organization.
  • Assume some technical background on the part of the reader—the language used is discipline-specific.

Looking for a specific journal title?

If you are looking for a particular journal title, you may search here

Academic Journals