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Scholarly Articles

Identifying Scholarly Articles

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines and Newspapers

To find scholarly journal articles for your research paper, you need to know some features that distinguish scholarly articles from magazine or newspaper articles.

Scholarly Journals   Popular Magazines & Newspapers
Experts in a field
Scholars or Professors
Who writes them? Reporters or Journalists
Staff writers
Free-lance writers
Researchers and Experts
Scholars (including students)
People with knowledge of the topic
Who reads them? General public
People who do not have in-depth knowledge of the topic
"Serious" looking - mostly text, some charts, graphs, or tables
Fewer advertisements or illustrations
Generally longer articles
What do they look like? Glossy, color photographs
Commercial advertisements
Easy-to-read or eye-catching layout
Original research or studies
In-depth analysis of a specific subject
Critical analysis (criticism)
What's in them? Entertainment and popular culture
Current events and news
Opinion pieces or articles with an emotional slant
A panel of experts in the field
This is called "peer-review" - a group of the author's "peers" evaluates it
Who evaluates them? Staff editors and publishers
Finding current research about a very specific aspect of your topic
Learning what the experts say about your topic and using it to support your thesis
What should I use them for? Broad overviews of current topics
Information about popular culture
Introduction to an unfamiliar topic


Finding Scholarly Articles : Video

The link below will take you to an example of a scholarly article in a library database. You will be prompted to log in with your G# and password. Use the PDF Full text link to see the entire article. Skim this article for the features you just learned about to get an idea of the kinds of articles you will be expected to find for your scholarly article source.