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Popular or Scholarly? Tips for Evaluating Periodicals: Scholarly Periodicals (Journals)

Why is this Scholarly?




• Lengthy (5-50 pages)



• Intended for an academic or scholarly audience




Publish articles written by academics, specialists or researchers in the field (as opposed to articles written by journalists reporting on or synthesizing research).

• Are often produced under the editorial supervision of a professional association (e.g., Journal of the American Medical Association) or by a scholarly press (e.g., Elsevier, Pergamon).

• Articles go through a rigorous review process (sometimes called ‘refereed’ or ‘peer-reviewed’) by experts in the field before they are selected for publication.



• Always present at the end of the article, chapter or book. 

• Sometimes called "References", "Reference List", "Works Cited", or "Endnotes" depending on publication style. Allows the reader to consult the same material that the author used in his/her research.




• Often publish reviews of the literature.

• Charts or tables

• Rare use of news photos and other types of graphics unless the research is visual in nature, such as art, design or architecture.

• Little or no advertising

Subject Coverage



• Generally confined to a single, very specific aspect of a subject area (e.g., music theory, European political science, film studies, language development).

Limit to Peer-Reviewed/Scholarly

When searching library databases for scholarly materials, limit your search to "scholarly/peer-reveiwed" to ensure your results meet this criteria.

Research Help on Youtube

Finding the right source is sometimes difficult. Below is a link to a video on how to identify scholarly resources. 

Research Minutes Video

"Research Minutes" was written and produced by Cornell University Library.