Periodical publications such as magazines, newspapers and journals vary in quality and depth of coverage. Instructors will frequently want you to select articles from scholarly journals (sometimes called "refereed" or "peer-reviewed" journals, though the terms don't mean exactly the same thing).
Click the image below to watch a short (3min) video on how to tell the difference between scholarly articles and popular magazine articles.
For more detail, try our guide:
Group photo 1909 in front of Clark University. Front row: Sigmund Freud,G. Stanley Hall, Carl Jung; back row:Abraham Brill, Ernest Jones, Sándor Ferenczi. (Wikipedia; public domain)
SCHOLARLY ARTICLES ARE WRITTEN TO :
SCHOLARLY ARTICLES ARE READ TO :
Six-page PDF steps the reader through the common parts of any scientific study with follow-up questions to guide understanding.
Here's what to look for:
|Secondary discussion of someone else's research; may include personal narrative or opinion; general information, purpose is to entertain or inform.
|Current news, trends and products in a specific industry; practical information for professionals working in the field or industry.
|In-depth, primary account of original findings written by the researcher(s); very specific information, with the goal of scholarly communication.
|Author is frequently a journalist paid to write articles, may or may not have subject expertise.
|Author is usually a professional in the field, sometimes a journalist with subject expertise.
|Author's credentials are provided; usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise.
|General public; the interested non-specialist.
|Professionals in the field; the interested non-specialist.
|Scholars, researchers, and students.
|Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.
|Specialized terminology or jargon of the field, but not as technical as a scholarly journal.
|Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area.
|Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.
|Photographs; some graphics and charts; advertisements targeted to professionals in the field.
|Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs.
|Layout & Organization
|Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.
|Informal; articles organized like a journal or a newsletter. Evidence drawn from personal experience or common knowledge.
|Structured; includes the article abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography.
|Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.
|Articles are evaluated by editorial staff who may be experts in the field, not peer-reviewed*; edited for format and style.
|Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers* or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style.
|Rare. Little, if any, information about source materials is given.
|Occasional brief bibliographies, but not required.
|Required. Quotes and facts are verifiable.
|Each issue begins with page 1.
|Each issue generally begins with page 1.
|Page numbers are generally consecutive throughout the volume.