Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Common Assignment & Research Questions

Answers to the questions we get asked most about your assignments.

What is a Scholarly Article?

Evaluating Journals

Evaluating Journals

CHARACTERISTICS

SCHOLARLY/PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS

GENERAL MAGAZINES

How to tell the difference between these two types of periodicals:

Content

Reports on original research; in-depth analysis of topics; statistical information; academic level book reviews; refereed or peer-reviewed

Current events and news; hot topics; brief, factual information; interviews

Length


Longer articles providing in-depth analysis of topics


Shorter articles providing broader overviews of topics

Authorship


Author usually an expert or specialist in the field; name and credentials always provided - researchers, academics, professors, scholars

Author usually a staff writer or a journalist; name and credentials often not provided

Language


Academic level writing & vocabulary; specialized language of the discipline; can be highly technical

Non-technical vocabulary; often simple language

Format/Structure


Articles usually more structured; may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography

Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure

Editors


Editors/reviewers are experts in the same field as author(s); many participate in peer-review process prior to publication; rigorous publication standards; articles checked for content, format and style

Editors not academic experts in subject field of article; article topics often assigned or contracted; articles usually only edited for style and format

Publishers


Professional organizations; Universities, research institutes and scholarly presses

Commercial/trade publishers; corporate ownership

Special Features


Illustrations that support the text, such as tables of statistics, graphs, maps, or photographs


Illustrations with glossy or color photographs, usually for advertising purposes

Credits


A bibliography (works cited) and/or footnotes are always provided to document research thoroughly


A bibliography (works cited) is usually not provided; names of reports or references may be mentioned in the text; sources, when used, are rarely cited in full

This site is maintained by the librarians of George A. Spiva Library.
If you have a question or comment about the Library's LibGuides, please contact the site administrator.