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Identifying Scholarly Journals

How to recognize a scholarly journal from a trade magazine or a popular magazine

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or color illustrations and pictures. Peer reviewed and refereed journals are scholarly journals, but not all scholarly journals are refereed or peer reviewed.

Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field.

The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some scholarly background on the part of the reader and is written for researchers or specialists in that discipline.

The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.

Many scholarly journals, though by no means all, are published by a specific professional organization.

Examples of Scholarly Journals

American Historical Review


Journal of Bacteriology

New England Journal of Medicine

Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Critical Inquiry

Journal of Urban Economics

Systematic Botany

New England Journal of Medicine

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