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Research: Where do I begin?: Peer Reviewed or Scholarly Journals?

Peer Reviewed, Scholarly (Academic) - What Does It Mean?

Peer Review describes the process that an article goes through before publication. Peer review means the articles are subjected to scrutiny by other researchers before publication to ensure the highest levels of academic merit, research value and accuracy. Peer reviewed articles are often called called scholarly, academic, juried or refereed.

Scholarly/Academic refers to articles written by academics and experts in the field. The intended audience for scholarly journals consists of subject specialists, researchers, faculty, and other scholars in the subject area. Scholarly/Academic articles are typically peer reviewed.

Is this a scholarly (academic) source?

Scholarly or Academic sources:

Their purpose is to share information within the subject field and are they based on original research and experimentation. They are suitable for academics, and are supported by a system of learning and study. They are less widely circulated than popular sources and may be understandable only to those who work or study in a particular field. In addition, scholarly sources are juried either through peer review or the referee process.

  • Peer-Reviewed: When an article is Peer-Reviewed, the editors of the journal wishing to publish the item send it to scholars in the relevant field; e.g., an article about Biology would go to other biologists. These scholars provide feedback about the article's pertinence to scholarship in their field, the quality of research and presentation of findings, and more. This ensures that the articles that wind up in academic journals have scholastic merit and contribute to the overall research in the field.

  • Refereed: A Refereed Article is also referred to other scholars in the field. However, in this instance, the reviews are blind. In other words, the academic peers conducting the review do not know the name of the work's author. In addition, it is often the case that the reviewers' names are not made known to the author. This ensures that the work is judged solely on its own merit rather than the author's reputation. In addition, the manuscript must be reviewed by at least two other people.

Popular sources: are widely available, usually cheaper to acquire, and can be understood by almost every person with basic literacy skills. They tend to promote known ideas and theories. These works may be professionally edited, but do not go through a jury process.

Scholarly or Popular Articles?

Here are the general differences between scholarly journals and popular magazines:

Scholarly Popular
Examples Energy Policy, International Philosophical Quarterly; Journal of Cultural History Time, Cosmopolitan
Purpose Represents scholarly research General Information and entertainment
Author Experts and scholars in the field Often no author is listed, or the author is not an expert or scholar
Publisher University, research press, professional association Commercial publisher
References Bibliographies and lists of references Often no cited references or bibliography

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