Peru State College
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Scholarly Journal vs Popular Magazine

Scholarly journals contain articles that have undergone a "peer review" process. Scholars and experts in the subject (the author's peers) review the information and decide if it should be published or rejected. This process ensures the highest quality of scholarship is published. They are also called peer reviewed or refereed journals.


To differentiate between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine, look for the below characteristics.


Scholarly Journal

  • Citations supporting the author's research
  • Author is a scholar or expert in the subject.
  • Language is associated with the field.
  • Charts and tables
  • Many sponsored by professional organizations or academic institutions.

Popular Magazine

  • No citations
  • Author is a journalist or generalist.
  • Audience is general public.
  • Glossy and colorful pictures
  • Prominent advertisements

To find scholarly journals, check the limit results box for "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals", "Peer reviewed", or "Scholarly journals" when you search. You will retrieve only journal articles.


How to Read a Scholarly Article - YouTube video by Western University Libraries