Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals contain articles written by experts in academic or professional fields.
Almost all of the library's databases will allow you to focus your search within academic, scholarly, or peer-reviewed journals.
Limiting to academic/scholarly, however, may also retrieve professional journals. Some professors consider these scholarly, others don't. Ask for clarification.
Every scholarly research article will indicate what methods and tools were used to conduct the research, what the results were, and how the author interprets those results.
View some sample citations below to compare scholarly and non-scholarly journal articles. Still unsure? Check Ulrich's Periodicals Directory for the definitive word on whether your source is scholarly or general.
Image source: Syker Fotograf. GNU GPL. Wikimedia Commons.
Generally have a sober, serious look. May contain graphs and charts, but will have few photographs or ads. Use scholarly language specific to the profession or field.
Academics, researchers, professionals.
Researchers or scholars in the field.
Original scholarly research for a particular profession, field, or subject.
Will almost always include a list of citations, Works Cited, or Bibliography.
Academic, peer-reviewed, juried, refereed. Scholarly journals that are reviewed by experts are called peer-reviewed, juried, or refereed. Not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.