Student Life

Scholarly Journal

Title: Does the word “Journal” or “Research appear in the title? This is a good indication that it is a scholarly journal. Note, however, that not all journals have these words in the title; some periodicals with “Journal” in the title, e.g. Ladies Home Journal, are not scholarly.
Frequency: How often is the item published? Scholarly journals are most often quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly; very few are weekly.
Publisher: Is the item published by or in conjunction with a professional organization or association? Is the publisher a well-known corporation or a publishing company with specialists in that subject area? This usually indicates a scholarly publication.
Authors: Look at the authors or contributors of articles. Are they news reporters or professionals in the subject area (doctors, scientists, educators, etc.)? Often, the contributors are listed on page 1 or 2 of the issue; sometimes their degrees or jobs are indicated. Also, look at the individual articles. Journals will often give a brief biographical sketch of the author at the beginning of an article. This will tell you whether or not he/she is a professional.
Article format: Are the articles brief news items or are they substantial articles using technical or professional language? Does the publication contain research studies, with charts/graphs; do the articles have bibliographies and/or notes? These would indicate a scholarly journal.

These are only guidelines. Not all of the above will be present every time. However, taken as a whole, they should give you a pretty good idea about whether or not the publication is scholarly.

If you are using EBSCOhost or some other library databases, click on a box for “scholarly journals” or “peer reviewed journals” to eliminate things that are not scholarly.

When in doubt, ask your instructor or the librarian.