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Library DIY: Scholarly Resources

Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Resources

We've created a chart for you to outline the typical criteria for each of the most common types of journal articles you'll run into. Unfortunately, some journals may not meet all of the criteria and will seem to fit it multiple categories. If that happens, it's best to check with your instructor or librarian to determine what type of article it is!

Criteria Scholarly Journals Trade Journals Popular Journals

Chart of Criteria Needed to Determine Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Journals

Accountability Peer reviewed or refereed (Peer review is the process by which scholarly work is checked by a group of experts in that field to ensure the work meets standards before publication.) Editor Editor
Advertisements Very few, if any Some, but usually related to the trade or topic the journal is designed for Heavy
Appearance Charts, graphs and other images are used to support or enhance the article May have glossy pages, photographs, graphics, charts or graphs, but used to support or enhance the article Glossy pages, numerous photographs and graphics, bright colors
Audience Professionals or researchers in the field Professionals in the field General public, entertainment-seekers
Authors Contributing authors (experts or professionals in the field) Publication staff members and contributing authors (professionals in the field) Publication staff members
Citations Complete references included May include references for sources Rarely include references for source of information
Language Extremely formal, high-level; assumed reader is of a similar scholarly background May use trade jargon, written in a professional manor Simple language designed to meet average reading level
Purpose To disseminate research study results, to inform To inform on trends, new ideas, professional advice To entertain or provide information about a special interest topic


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