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Finding Resources

a guide to finding books, articles, web resources and more!

How to Read a Scholarly Article

Peer Review

Scholarly Journals

Characteristics of scholarly journals:
  • also called peer-reviewed articles
  • tend to have lengthy articles (5-50 pages)
  • cover a single, very specific aspect of a subject area
  • include in-text citations and either footnotes or a lengthy list of Works Cited so that the reader can find the author's sources
  • are written for an academic or scholarly audience
  • use technical or specialized vocabulary
  • are written by academics, specialists, or researchers in the field
  • the author's name and academic credentials are usually included
  • include only charts, tables, or photographs that clarify the research
  • include very little advertising
  • are published between 2-12 times per year, most often quarterly

Trade Journals

Characteristics of Trade Journals:
  • have articles of various lengths
  • include industry-specific news, commentary, and articles
  • may or may not include a short list of references
  • are written for an audience in a specific industry or field
  • use the technical vocabulary of the intended audience
  • may be written by either journalists or researchers
  • will probably include photographs or illustrations
  • include industry-specific advertising aimed at members of the intended audience
  • are published weekly or monthly to take advantage of changes in products or technology

Popular Magazines

Characteristics of Popular Magazines:
  • articles tend to be short (1-5 pages)
  • cover a variety of topic/ subject areas for a general audience
  • do not list any references or works cited
  • are intended for a non-academic, non-specialized audience
  • use conventional/ conversational language, as opposed to a specialized vocabulary
  • are written by journalists, rather than researchers or specialists in a given field
  • include photographs and illustrations
  • include extensive commercial advertising