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Psychology Research Guide: Scholarly Information

What is a scholarly article?

Created by Kimbel Library, Coastal Carolina University.

Tips to identify a scholarly article.

1.  Authors

  • They are experts in the field they write about
  • Their credentials are listed in the article

2.  Audience

  • Articles are written for scholars, researchers, and students
  • Authors use specialized terminology related to the field of study

3.  References

  • Authors use previous research in their articles
  • They cite their research in-text and at the end of the paper

4.  Abstract

  • Contains a paragraph at the beginning of the article
  • Author summarizes what the article is about

5.  Graphics

  • Tend to contain graphs, charts and tables

6.  Publications

  • Scholarly articles are published in peer reviewed journals and not found in popular magazines like TimeNewsweekUS News & World Report,
    New York Times Magazine
    , etc.  Popular magazines generally do not have a lot of depth in their articles and they are
    news-based, not research-based.

What is a Scholarly or "Peer Reviewed" Article

Scholarly articles and peer reviewed articles are the result of lengthy research and study.  The authors are expert in their fields (e.g. professors, doctors, scientists, lawyers, scholars, researchers) and the articles undergo a more rigorous review process (peer-reviewed) before being selected for publication. They are viewed as being more authoritative while popular periodicals or magazines are viewed as being less credible.  This is why faculty often require students to use scholarly, not popular, articles for their research.

Tips to identify a scholarly book.

Many of the tips for scholarly articles also apply to scholarly books in addition to the following:

  • The author has written several books in the field.
  • Scholarly books are often published by university presses.
  • Look for a review of the book.  A review of the book can help you determine if you want to include the work in your research.
  • Research-based books will have indexes and a list of references.