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Scholarly Articles

A guide describing what is a scholarly journal article.

Periodical Types

Scholarly articles are found in scholarly journals which are have different characteristics than magazines or newspapers.  All three of these resources are considered periodicals as they are published periodically such as every month, every other month, or quarterly. 

Periodicals Scholarly Professional/Trade Popular Newspapers
Value & Purpose

Reports of original research; In-depth analysis of topics;  Statistical information

Current trends; reports from the field;  book and resource reviews

Current events and news; Brief factual information; interviews

News stories
Current information
Local and regional focus
Analysis and opinion of current events

researchers, academics, scholars with advanced degrees

An author or authors are always listed.

Individuals employed in the field. An author is usually listed. Journalists; the author may not be named. Journalists; the author may not be named.
Language College-level writing and vocabulary; often uses specialized language of the discipline Written for those employed in the field Uses professional terminology Non-technical vocabulary; written for a general audience Non-technical vocabulary; written for a general audience

Footnotes and bibliographies
Extensive documentation

Brief bibliographies some citations

Often difficult to know what original sources used Sources rarely cited in full
Publishers Professional organizations, universities, research institutes, and scholarly presses

Professional Organizations Commerical/trade publisher

Commercial / trade publisher Commercial / trade publisher
Graphics Graphs, charts, and tables
Ads are very rare
Photographs and illustrations Many graphics and photos
Many full-page color ads
Photos, graphics, and charts
Many ads