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RDG 1300: Reading Improvement: Scholarly or Not?

This course guide was created for James Dyer's RDG 1300 (Reading Improvement) class.

Library Article Terms Q & A

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 They are not scholarly journals because they are not peer-reviewed.

Why Use Scholarly?

Scholarly journals are written for and by people who work in academics: professors, researchers, undergraduate or graduate students. This type of article is best suited for your research because it is reliable and authoritative.

How Do I Evaluate Websites? Oh, the CRAAP Test!

If you find a website that you think might be useful for your assignment, use this list as an evaluation tool.

Currency

  • When was this article or page published? Has it been updated since then?
  • Has the author written more recent papers on the same subject?
  • Does this article contain statistics or data? Are more current figures available elsewhere?

Relevance

  • Does the information in this article answer your research question?
  • Does the type of article fit the requirements of your assignment?
  • Is this article appropriate for college-level research?

Authority

  • Who wrote the article?
  • Is the author an expert in the field? What credentials does he or she have to suggest that?
  • Can you find any other resources that cite this article? 

Accuracy

  • Does the information in the article fit with what you already know about the subject?
  • Does the article contain references or citations to other resources? 

Purpose

  • Does the article seem to be objective, or is there any obvious bias or prejudice?
  • Does the author use emotional language?
  • Is the author writing on behalf of any company or political entity?

The CRAAP test was originally created by librarians at Meriam Library at California State University, Chico.

Types of Periodicals

  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

Is this Journal or Article Peer-Reviewed?

If you have a journal or article and you need to check if it is peer reviewed, use the Ulrich's Periodical Directory database.

  • Enter the name of the journal that the article was published in the search bar.
  • Look for the referee jersey icon or the line that says "Refereed: Yes."

peer reviewed

  • The term refereed is just another way of saying peer reviewed, so if you see either or both of those things, your journal is peer reviewed.
  • If you don't see the icon or if the description of the journal says "Refereed: No," that journal is not peer reviewed.