One very important difference between scholarly journals and other types of publications is peer review.
The terms scholarly, refereed, and peer reviewed tend to be used interchangeably. These terms refer to:
You can find peer reviewed journal articles:
Different types of publications have different purposes and different audiences. When we talk about journals and magazines, we can usually divide these publications into three categories:
Want a crash course in academic journals and the library databases you use to search for them? Check out this great video put out by RMIT University:
Written for professionals within the field of study.
Written for the "average" person who doesn't have in-depth knowledge of a topic.
Authors are usually experts, often university researchers. Author’s credentials are usually included.
Author is usually a staff writer or journalist. The author’s name is often not provided.
|Research, analysis, scholarship. Often includes abstract, research, methods, conclusion, and a bibliography. Sources are always cited in the form of footnotes or bibliographies.
|Entertainment, opinion, current topics, quick facts. Rarely, if ever, cite sources.
|Research articles must be reviewed by a panel of experts within the field before they are published.
|Articles are generally evaluated by staff editors rather than experts within the field.
|Longer articles providing in depth analysis of topics.
|Articles are usually short (1-4 pages) and provide a broad overview of the topic.
|Serious looking. May contain charts and graphs yet will rarely contain advertisements.
|Glossy, color pictures, advertisements.
|Purpose is to report on original research to make the information available to the scholarly/scientific community.
|Purpose is to inform the general reader, entertain, promote a viewpoint, and/or sell products.
A short five minute video that explains what the peer review process entails and why peer reviwed articles are considered credible, valuable sources.