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Find Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles are written by experts in the field (usually people with advanced degrees) and have been reviewed by other experts in the field (peers) for accuracy and bias.

Scholarly journals have names like:

  • The Journal of Adolescent Psychology
  • Nursing Science Quarterly
  • Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Popular magazines and newspapers have names like:

  • Time Magazine
  • The San Jose Mercury News
  • Business Weekly

Scholarly articles can be found in databases, usually by discipline or subject area. To find the best databases for articles in your discipline, we suggest you use the Library Research Guides.

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines


Scholarly Journals

Popular Magazines

Example Covers Scholarly Journals Popular Magazines
Author Usually a scholar or researcher with expertise in the subject area; Author's credentials and/or affiliation are given. Author's name may or may not be given; often a professional writer; may or may not have expertise in the subject area.
Audience Other scholars, researchers, and students. General public; the interested non-specialist.
Language Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area  (or a good specialized dictionary!). Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.
Graphics Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs. Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.
Layout & Organization Structured; generally includes the article abstract, objectives, methodology, analysis, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography. Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.
Accountability Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style. Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.
References Always has a list of references or bibliography; sources of quotes and facts are cited and can be verified. Rarely has a list of references; usually does not give complete information about sources of information.
Examples Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly, almost anything with Journal in the title. Time, Newsweek, The Nation, The Economist

Adapted from a LibGuide by Beth Rohloff at Tufts University's Tisch Library.