Professors will often ask you to find articles that are scholarly. What does that mean? Journal articles are usually "scholarly" while magazine articles are "popular". Trade publications are specific publications that are targeted to people who work in specific industries for example: the advertising business.
|Criteria||Scholarly Journal||Trade Publication||Popular Magazine|
|Sample First Page of Article|
|Title of Article||"Gender, toys and learning"||"Toy Story"||"The Truth About Boys and Girls"|
|Title of Publication||Oxford Review of Education||Professional Engineering||Baby Talk|
|Purpose of Publication||"Articles and review articles on the theory and practice of education from scholars throughout the world in disciplines including philosophy, political science, economics, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and medicine."||"Addresses the news & technology that impacts on the business & careers of professional engineers in all sectors of engineering & manufacturing."||"Publishes articles on a mix of news and advice on the challenges of new motherhood from experts and moms who "tell it like it is.""|
|Audience||Scholars and researchers in the particular field of study.||People in the business||General audience.|
|Authors||Scholars and researchers (generally not paid).||Paid staff writers, professionals and vendors in the field.||Paid journalists, staff writers and freelance writers.|
|Editors||Journal editors and peer reviewers.||Staff editors.||Staff editors.|
|Works Cited/References||Almost always.||Sometimes.||Rarely.|
Table adapted from a table created by NCSU Libraries.
This short video from Old Dominion University Libraries illustrates the differences between scholarly and popular sources.
What does it mean when a journal is peer reviewed?
Articles in a journal which is peer-reviewed go through a rigorous process in which the articles are reviewed by scholars and researchers (peers) in the field. Before being accepted, these articles are often sent back to the authors for revisions. For more information about the peer review process, please watch the video below.
Are all scholarly journals peer-reviewed?
Most but not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.
How do you know if a journal is peer-reviewed?