During the research process you will need to evaluate a variety of factors in which the information presented plays a role in quality, relevance, authority, and reliability of a source.
Scholarly or peer-reviewed articles are written for a very specific audience such as other scholars, people involved in the field, researchers and/or students interested in the field. Scholarly articles include original research, criticism and reviews of current literature in the field.
For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association contains articles that are scholarly in nature.
An example of a Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Journal Article: "Possible Transfer of Life by Earth-Grazing Objects to Exoplanetary Systems"
Want to know more about the differences between scholarly and popular magazine article, please watch the video Scholarly vs Popular Sources from Old Dominion University. You can also watch the video embedded below.
An article that is peer-reviewed means that scholars who are experts in the field that an article wants to be published in, review the article for quality of research and adherence to editorial standards of the selected journal before it is accepted for publication. It can take 12-24 months for a an article to move through the peer-review process?
Want to learn more about the peer-review process: watch the video Peer Review in 3 Minutes from North Carolina State University
This table highlights some of the differences between scholarly and popular articles. This is not an exhaustive list.
|Criteria||Scholarly Article||Popular Article|
Authors are scholars and experts in the field. Authors are always named, and their institutional affiliation is given.
|Authors are staff writers or journalists.|
Publishers may be university presses or professional associations. Articles may be edited through the peer-review process by scholars in the same field of study.
|Publishers are corporations, working for profit.|
Articles are longer with a focus on research projects, methodology and theory. Language is more formal, technical, using discipline specific terminology.
Articles may be shorter with a general focus on the topic and written for news or entertainment value.
Sources are cited and a bibliography or footnotes provided to document the research.
|Sources are not usually cited.|
Article may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and a bibliography.
|Specific format is not followed.|
Audience consists of academics, scholars, researchers, and professionals.
|Audience is the general public.|