Is This a Scholarly Journal Article?

Scholarly Journal Articles

  • Purpose: To inform, report or make original research available to other researchers.
  • Authors/Publishers: Written by scholars or researchers in the field. Articles are peer reviewed by other experts in the field before being published by a professional organization.
  • Sources: Cite sources; include extensive documentation to previously published research (footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, etc.).
  • Language: Use terminology, jargon and the language of the discipline covered.
  • Format: Have grave, serious formats. May contain graphs and charts to illustrate concepts.
  • Examples: Annals of Microbiology, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Physiology, Physics Letters.

Nonscholarly Journal Articles (News / General Interest)

  • Purpose: To provide general information to a well educated, general audience.
  • Authors/Publishers: Written by staff, freelance or scholarly writers. Articles are not peer reviewed; editorial team makes all content decisions before being published by commercial enterprises for a profit.
  • Sources: Sometimes cite sources, but not as a rule.
  • Language: Geared to any educated audience; no specialty assumed, unfamiliar terms often defined.
  • Format: Are attractive in appearance. Include photos, illustrations and graphics to enhance the publication.
  • Examples: The Atlantic, Newsweek, Fortune, Psychology Today

Popular Magazines

  • Purpose: To entertain or persuade, to sell products or services.
  • Authors/Publishers: Written by the staff or freelance writers for a broad-based audience. Articles are not peer reviewed. They are published by commercial enterprises for profit.
  • Source: Rarely cite sources. Original sources may be obscure.
  • Language: Use simple language for minimal educational level. Articles are short, with little depth.
  • Format: Are generally glossy with an attractive format. Contain photos, illustrations and drawings to enhance publication's image.
  • Examples: Better Homes and Gardens, GQ, Glamour, People Weekly, Sports Illustrated

This information adapted from The College of New Jersey.