What is a peer-reviewed article or journal?
Peer-reviewed means that articles before publication go through a rigorous process of review by experts in that subject field. This is to ensure that the articles meet the standards of that discipline. After the articles have been peer-reviewed, they are published in peer-reviewed journals.
Is peer-reviewed the same as the term refereed?
Yes, more or less. The review process by publication experts is different for each one.
What is a periodical?
The term periodical can apply to any journal, magazine, or newspaper that is published at regularly occurring intervals.
What is a scholarly journal?
A scholarly journal is a scholarly publication with multiple articles that is often subject specific or has a specific audience. Sometimes referred to as a periodical, because they are published at regularly occurring intervals.
What is a trade journal?
A trade journal is written by experts in a specific industry that discusses news, trends, and opinions. They are not scholarly journals because they are not peer-reviewed.
Not every database contains the full text of every article. However, you may be able to find the full text in another of the library's databases. To find out where you can find a particular periodical online or in print, use the Periodical List.
(click on the image to see a larger version)
|Scholarly Journals||Popular Magazines|
|Authors||Articles are written by authorities in the field||Articles are usually written by professional writers or journalists|
|Sources||Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies||There are rarely bibliographies|
|Audience||Aimed at scholarly readers (researchers, professors, or students)||Aimed at general population|
|Publisher||Often published by academic or association presses||Published by commercial (for profit) presses|
|Advertisements||Contains few to no advertisements||Contain numerous advertisements|
|Peer-review?||Most articles are reviewed by an author’s peers before publication to ensure high quality||Rare|
|Article scope||Journals usually have a narrow subject focus, and articles often include original research, reviews, or essays||Used to inform, update, or introduce a topic to a general reader|
|Graphics||Illustrations often consist of charts or graphs||Numerous colorful illustrations and/or photographs are usually present|
|Language||Articles use jargon of the discipline||Language is geared to general population; no special knowledge is required|
|Examples||American Journal of Botany, The Academy of Management Journal, Social Research||Runner's World, Ebony, Time|
If you have a journal or article and you need to check if it is peer reviewed, use the Ulrich's Periodical Directory database.