|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?
When your assignment calls for academic sources, that means you are to use academic (scholarly, peer reviewed) books or complete academic (scholarly, peer reviewed) journal articles. An abstract to an article is not acceptable as a source. Your must read and use the complete article.
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.
Even though you find them in academic databases along with journal articles, a book review is not an acceptable academic source for a research paper. The database will indicate "review" or "book review" somewhere in the record.