Answered By: Arlene Salazar
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2016     Views: 195

A journal that has been reviewed by other scholars before publishing.

Scholarly journals are also referred to as "Peer Reviewed" or "Refereed."


Scholarly Journals


Professional/Trade Journals or Magazines/Newspapers

  • The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world. Articles tend to be lengthy and very thoroughly address the topic at hand.
  • Scholarly journal articles always list their information sources in the form of footnotes, endnotes, or bibliographies.
  • Have a serious appearance.
  • Written for professors, students or researchers. Signed by the authors.
  • Research articles written for such journals are heavily reviewed by peer experts within the discipline and revised by the author(s) before being accepted for publication, i.e., "peer reviewed."
  • Authors of scholarly journal articles are usually subject experts, or scholars, in their fields.
  • The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some degree of subject knowledge on the part of the reader.
  • Articles in scholarly journals usually have a(n):
—Bibliography or List of References
—Author Credentials
—Supporting diagrams, tables, or illustrations
  • Articles in scholarly journals will usually include at least two of the following sections:
—Theory or Background
—Methods or Methodology
—Discussion or Conclusions
  • May include tables, graphs or illustrations to support research.
  • Advertisements are rare. If there are any advertisements, they are not aimed at mass market consumers, but at persons within that specific discipline.

Popular Magazines such as: People, Sports Illustrated, Health, Reader's Guide, Family Circle, Popular Mechanics, McCalls, etc.

  • Most academic libraries do not subscribe to many popular magazines. Instead, you will find a wider variety of popular magazines at public libraries and news stands.
  • No advanced reading and comprehension levels are required to enjoy these magazines which are written for the average consumer.
  • Glossy pages, mass consumer advertisements, and photos are prevalent.

News Magazines such as: Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, etc.

  • These magazines are aimed at a general, mass consumer audience.
  • They do not require subject familiarity or advanced reading and comprehension levels.
  • Glossy pages, mass consumer advertisements, and photos are prevalent.

Opinion Magazines such as: New Republic, National Review, Nation, etc.

  • These magazines are aimed at an educated audience, but without assuming any particular scholarly/professional background.
  • Opinion magazines comment on current events and offer a particular viewpoint on world affairs, politics, and cultural matters.
  • Glossy pages, mass consumer advertisements, and photos are prevalent.

Professional/Trade Journals such as: Progressive Grocer, Police Chief, Automotive News, American Libraries, Beverage World, etc.

  • These magazines are industry/career specific and designed to keep the practitioner updated on topics and trends in that specific area.
  • Glossy pages, trade specific advertisement, and photos are prevalent.

Newspapers such as: Austin American Statesman, New York Times, etc.

  • Like news magazines, newspapers also are written for the general public, contain mass consumer ads, and numerous photos.


Still not sure?

Talk to your instructor or refer to the Ulrich's Periodical Directory. Search by the publication's title and look to see if it is refereed. 

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