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Is It Scholarly or General? How Will I Know?

Distinguishing features of scholarly journals and general magazines.

Identify a Scholarly Journal Article

Unsure what a scholarly journal article looks like?  This Interactive tutorial identifies sections that should appear in a scholarly journal article.

Scholarly Journal Characteristics



Scholarly Journals

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.

Also Called

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.