POLS 155 - American Government: National, State, and Local

Scholarly articles are published in scholarly journals. What is a scholarly journal and how is it different from a magazine or newspaper? 

  • Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals have collections of articles written by experts in academic or professional fields. Their intended audience is other scholars and professionals. Journals are excellent for finding out what has been studied or researched on a topic and to find bibliographies that point to other relevant sources of information. Examples are: Journal of PsychologyJournal of Consumer MarketingLancet and Nursing Ethics, The word "journal" is not necessarily in the title of a scholarly publication.
  • Magazines are good sources of information or opinions about popular culture or up-to-date information on current events. Popular magazines typically have colorful covers and lots of advertisements. Examples are Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. Articles are often written by journalists, not by scholars. 
  • Newspapers are usually published daily and are a great source of local information, editorials, and opinions. Most newspapers now publish Web sites. Examples of newspapers are the Wall Street Journal and New York Times

Look for these aspects in a scholarly article:

  • The sources are cited.
  • It is written by an authority or expert in the field whose credentials are prominently stated.
  • The article has a formal appearance with tables, graphs, and diagrams.
  • The language includes specialized terms and the jargon of the discipline.
  • The expected audience of researchers, professors, or students in the field.
  • It usually has a narrow or specific subject focus.
  • There is original research, experimentation, or in-depth studies in the field.
  • The article is lengthy, typically more than 7 pages and often over 20 pages
  • There is minimal to no advertising.

Meriam Library | CSU, Chico