Skip to Main Content

Determine if an Article is Scholarly

Learn how to differentiate between popular and scholarly articles and how to find peer reviewed or refereed journal articles.

What makes an article scholarly?

When doing research, it is important to remember that not all information is created equally. Scholarly articles differ from other articles.

To determine if an article is scholarly, ask yourself the following questions:

Who is the author? Who is the audience?
Scholarly articles are written by experts for experts.

Who are experts?
Researchers, professors, or professionals in the field.

Who is the publisher?
Universities, academic presses, and professional organizations publish scholarly articles.

Why was the article published? What is its purpose?
Scholarly articles are published to make research available to other researchers.Each article contributes to the conversation within the field of study.

Does the article cite sources?
In scholarly articles, sources are cited clearly and transparently in a structured bibliography.

What is the format?
Scholarly articles follow a structure that frequently includes headings for different sections, such as abstract, introduction, methods or methodology, results, conclusion, or references. They often range from 10-30 pages in length, have few (if any) advertisements, and use graphics to elucidate points made in the text.
 

Scholarly vs Trade vs Popular Sources