|Academic journals are collections of articles written by subject experts. The articles go though a rigorous review process by other experts in the subject before they are approved for publication. Academic journals generally have a subdued cover .|
|Popular journals will have a colorful cover designed to draw people in. The articles are written by knowledgeable people for the general public. They are published with very little review.|
Does the author hold a position in a university or a recognized research organization relevant to the discipline?
Is the publisher an academic publishing house (such as Sage or John Wiley & Sons or Routledge, or is it a university or a research organization or a professional body producing research?
Are footnotes or references cited provided in the book?
Academic (Scholarly, Peer Reviewed) Articles
· Are written by professors, researchers or scholars;
· Are written to inform other scholars of original research or experimentation;
· Are written in more specialized or technical language;
· Have footnotes or bibliographies;
· May contain research findings or data;
· Are generally available only by subscription;
· Are lengthy.
Popular Magazine or Newspaper Articles
· Are written by journalists or reporters;
· Are written to inform, to persuade, or to entertain;
· Are intended for a general audience;
· Usually do not contain bibliographies;
· Can be purchased at a grocery store;
· Have glossy covers.
Scholarly articles in the sciences follow a particular format. You may not always see every part labeled, but the content will include the following:
ABSTRACT – a summary of the article
INTRODUCTION – a brief explanation of the research topic and why this particular research was performed.
MATERIALS and METHODS – How the research was performed
RESULTS – The results of the research. An explanation of what happened.
DISCUSSION or CONCLUSION – What do the results mean? What is significant or important of them? What was learned?
REFERENCES – The research of others that was consulted in the writing of this article.
For more help, see the interactive guide Anatomy of a Scholarly Article, created by NCSU, and the video at right, "How to Read A Scholarly Article" created by Western University.