Is It a Scholarly Journal Or Isn't It

Some of the following characteristics are found in most scholarly journals:
  • Where did you find it?
    • Did you find a citation for it in a subject-oriented index? (e.g. PsycLit, ERIC, Physical Education Index)
  • How are articles chosen for the publication?
    • Is the journal published or sponsored by a professional scholarly society or association?
    • Is there a list of reviewers (editorial board) inside the front cover of the journal on the first few pages? (This type of journal is known as a "juried" or "refereed" journal.")
  • What are the general characteristics of a scholarly journal article?
    • Is the article organized into at least two of the following sections:
      • Introduction or Literature Review
      • Theory or Background
      • Subjects
      • Methods
      • Results
      • Discussion
    • Does the article have a bibliography or list of references?
    • Does the title of the article reflect its content?
    • Is there an abstract at the beginning of the article?
    • Are the author's credentials listed?
    • Is the article based on either original research or authorities in the field (as opposed to personal opinion)?
    • Are there supporting diagrams or illustrations with the article?

For more information, go to the University of Texas at San Antonio Library's Scholarly v. Popular guide or the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater's Andersen Library's Scholarly Journal, Trade Magazine, & Popular Magazine guide.

If you still need assistance, contact one of our Librarians.