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What is the difference between a scholarly peer reviewed journal and a popular magazine? How do I find scholarly articles?

982 views   |   Last updated on Jul 03, 2018    journals magazines databases research articles

 

When conducting research, scholars often rely on articles from scholarly journals rather than popular magazines. These are often referred to as scholarly or peer-reviewed resources.

Scholarly resources are written by scholars in a particular subject area for other scholars in that subject area (that includes you!). These articles go through what's called a "peer-review" process where other scholars read and examine the articles for quality of research before they are published. For the most part, you can rely on scholarly resources to be credible and reliable sources for your research.

Popular magazines or news websites are written by reporters who are experts on reporting and writing but not necessarily on the subject matter of their article. Articles written for these publications are written for a wider audience who has not background in the subject matter. Popular writing often cites scholarly writing.

For more information on scholarly sources, watch these videos and refer to this chart to help you identify the difference between scholarly and popular articles.

 

Finding Scholarly Articles in Databases

You can limit your search in the databases to only display search results that are scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Below are examples.

The JSTOR database contains only scholarly articles so there is no limiter in that database. 

Search Everything & EBSCO databases - on the search results screen check off the Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals box under "Limit to" on the left hand side

Gale - Gale is a 2-step process. First choose "Academic Journals" then choose "Peer-Reviewed Journals" on the right hand side.