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What is a scholarly article?

Thank you to Vanderbilt University's Peabody Library.
Created by Eli Moody, 2007.

Thank you to VCU Libraries!

Please click on the image below for an interactive version.

Peer-review? and Evaluating articles

What does Peer-Reviewed mean? 

A scholarly periodical which requires that each article submitted for publication be judged by an independent panel of experts (scholarly or scientific peers). Articles not approved by a majority of these peers are not accepted for publication by the journal. Peer-reviewed articles are generally considered to be scholarly and reliable resources.

Peer-Review Process Explained: 

How do I tell what articles I find are considered scholarly and what are popular or trade resources?

From the University of Maine at Farmington: Guide to identifying scholarly sources




Scholarly Journals


Professional / Trade Journals

Written by

 scholars / researchers


 journalists / industry experts

Written for

 professors, students

 general public

 people who work in that field

Looks like

 mostly text, may have charts
     & graphs

 glossy covers, many advertisements,
     & photographs

 glossy covers & industry specific ads


 contains original search/analysis
 usually signed by the author
 long articles
 written in scholarly/technical lang.
 contain bibliographies

 info about current events, trends, pop culture
 not always signed by the author
 short articles
 written for general reader
 no bibliographies
 not peer-reviewed

 report on industry news & trends
 not always signed by author
 short articles
 written in tech lang. specific to industry
 may be bibliographies
 could be peer-reviewed


 Studies in Short Fiction
 Journal of Chemical Education

 Time * Newsweek
 Ladies Home Journal

 RN * Accounting Review
 Library Journal