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Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals

Scholarly journals contain articles that have undergone a "peer review" process. Scholars and experts in the subject (the author's peers) review the information and decide if it should be published or rejected. This process ensures the highest quality of scholarship is published. They are also called peer reviewed or refereed journals.

Scholarly Journals have:

  • citations supporting the author's research.
  • author is a scholar or expert in the subject.
  • language is associated with the field.
  • charts and tables.

To find scholarly journals, check the limit results box for "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals", "Peer reviewed", or "Scholarly journals" when you search.  You will retrieve only journal articles.

Trade Magazines

Trade magazines contain articles on topics relevant to that trade or career. They are written by specialists in that field or journalists and are for in people in that trade.

Trade magazines:

  • are not peer reviewed.
  • may or may not have citations.
  • have an author that is a specialist in the field or a journalist.
  • have an audience that is people in that trade.

Popular Magazines

Popular magazines contain articles on topics of popular interest and current events. They are written by journalists and are for the general public.

Magazines have:

  • no citations.
  • author is a journalist.
  • audience is general public.

Empirical Articles

An empirical article reports research based on observations or experiments. The research may use quantitative research methods, which uses numerical data, or qualitative research methods, which objectively and critically analyzes behaviors, feelings, or values with few or no numerical date.

Empirical articles:

  • are published in scholarly journals.
  • have an abstract that mentions a study, data collected, survey, interview, assessment, observation, or questionnaire.
  • usually contains the following sections: introduction, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references.

To find empirical articles in:

  • PsycINFO, limit search to Peer Reviewed.
  • Academic Search Complete, Business Source Elite, and Education Research Complete, limit search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.
  • ERIC, select Yes for Peer Reviewed.
  • ProQuest databases, limit search to Scholarly journals.
  • JSTOR requires no limiter since all the articles are from scholarly journals.

You may also add the terms STUDY or STUDIES in the final search box after your other search terms to further focus your search.

Scholarly vs Popular Periodicals by Vanderbilt University

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