What is a Scholarly Journal?

Scholarly Journals are journals which are respected for the research and information they provide about the topic they cover. They are written by and for people who have experience in a discipline or field. The research is often refereed meaning that it is reviewed by other researchers who are knowledgeable about the topic of the article. They usually have a more serious look than most popular magazines and contain graphs and charts but do not usually have many pictures. Scholarly journals cite their sources using footnotes or bibliographies. Although some scholarly journals have advertisements they are not prominent and usually relate directly to the topic of the journal.

After completing this tutorial you will know what makes a Scholarly Journal different from a magazine, the difference between a Refereed Journal and a Non- Refereed Journal, where to find these resources, and how to correctly cite them in your paper.

What does "refereed" mean?

Refereed means that the research articles included have been reviewed by scholars in the discipline of the journal. Usually this is a "blind review" meaning that when the author or authors submit the article, the journal editor sends it to two, three or more people without the author(s) name attached and asks them to review the research of the article and the content of the article itself. If the article is accepted or accepted with recommended changes, it is eventually published in the journal. Most refereed journals have few or no advertisements.

Are there non-refereed scholarly journals?

Yes, some scholarly journals are highly respected but are not refereed. In this case, the editors decide if the article content is of high quality and appropriate for the journal. One example of a non-referred scholarly journal is Educational Technology.

Library resources to help you decide if a journal is refereed.

There are a number of ways you can tell if the journal is refereed or highly respected. First you can look at the submission criteria listed in the journal. If they state that they are a refereed journal it is pretty obvious. They may call for multiple copies of a submitted article or discuss sending the article to reviewers. In this case it is probably a referred journal. You can also look the journal up in Ulrich’s or Cabell’s or other serials resources for more information about the journal. Of course, if you are in doubt you can always ask a Librarian or your professor for more information.

How will my professor know if the journal is scholarly?

Many scholarly journals are well known in the field that a professor teaches. He or she will probably be familiar with most of the journals you use in your paper. In addition, they can come to the library or contact a librarian to check up on a specific journal they are not familiar with.

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