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Introduction to Criminology - Prof. Mitrione: What Are Scholarly Journals





Newsweek (Popular Magazine)       

*Purpose: To entertain, market, or promote a viewpiont                              

  • Articles are written by staff or journalists    
  • Articles are not peer reviewed
  • Reading level is basic
  • Articles are shorter on average
  • There are advertisements and glossy color photos
  • Lacks references or works cited lists

 The Historian (Scholarly Journal)

*Purpose: To contribute to the evolving body of knowledge within an academic discipline

  • Articles are written by experts that have credentials
  • Articles are peer reviewed
  • Reading level is advanced
  • Longer more structured articles
  • Has a list of references, citations or bibliography at the end of each article


Scholarly or Not?

Scholarly Journal or Not?

For some assignments, your instructor may require you to locate information in scholarly research journals, (which can also be called Peer Reviewed or Refereed Journals) but how can you easily know the differences between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine?  This sort of basic evaluation is a necessary part of the research process, and a means for you to sharpen your critical thinking skills. 

Some of the ways that a scholarly research journal typically differs from a popular magazine are:

Scholarly journal articles will indicate authors and their academic credentials; popular magazines may not always list the author.

Scholarly journal articles will include footnotes, endnotes, bibliographies, or reference lists; popular magazine articles very rarely do this.

Scholarly journal articles focus on research; popular magazines focus on current events & topics of general interest, and include lots of ads for consumer products.

Peer Review
Scholarly journal articles are reviewed and fully critiqued by subject experts for research accuracy & importance before being published; popular magazines are not as rigorous.

Point of Sale
Where you find publications for sale is a clue.  It may be difficult to locate scholarly journals at all outside of research libraries; popular magazines are usually much easier to find.

Publication frequency
Scholarly journals are usually published two or  four times a year; popular magazines may be published daily, weekly, or monthly.


Peer Review in 3 Minutes

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