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Research FAQs: How do I Identify Scholarly/Professional Journal Articles?

Answering Students' Most Asked Library Questions

Resources: Scholarly v. Popular



  • Typically written and evaluated by other scholars before published
  • An in depth study, review, or report - lengthier than a magazine article
  • Geared toward students, professionals or other researchers 
  • Contains footnotes and a list of references 
  • Sometimes referred to as "Peer-Reviewed" 
  • Published by an educational institution or professional organization
  • Examples : Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Journal of Computer Information Systems, Journal of American History



  • Articles are shorter in length and geared toward the general public
  • Easy to read; avoids specialized vocabulary
  • Most often does not include footnotes or references
  • Often has photographs, glossy images and advertisements
  • Authors are often staff writers or anonymous 
  • Commercially published
  • Examples : Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Psychology Today, PC World, Washington Post