Scholarly/peer-reviewed articles: what are they?
Last Updated: Aug 14, 2019 Views: 223

Scholarly articles are important sources for research. This answer will explain what they are and how you can recognize them.

Scholarly articles

These articles are published in academic journals. They are written by experts in a certain field, often to reporting research findings. Many, but not all, are peer-reviewed.

Peer-reviewed articles

These are a subset of scholarly articles. They are scholarly articles that have been reviewed by a panel of experts before they are accepted for publication. Not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, but all peer-reviewed articles are scholarly.

Recognizing a scholarly article

To determine if an article is a scholarly article, look for the following characteristics:

  • The article is published in a scholarly journal. A scholarly article is published within a journal that has recognition/authority within a discipline. Watch out, not everything in a scholarly journal is a scholarly article. Letters, editorials, “news at a glance”, and similar content are not acceptable as articles.
  • The article uses the language of the intended audience. (example: Prevention vs. The Lancet)
  • The author(s)’s credentials are listed. Do they have authority? (Academic credentials?)
  • It may be sponsored by an association or academic group.
  • The article includes a bibliography.
  • The article will usually be long. Academic articles will be longer than a page.
  • The article includes an abstract or a summary.
  • The date of publication is identifiable. This allows you to determine how current the article is.
  • The article features fewer ads and glossy photos than you would see in a popular magazine.
  • The article may contain graphs and statistics to convey information.

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