What is a Scholarly Journal?: Scholarly Journals

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or color illustrations and pictures. Peer reviewed and refereed journals are scholarly journals, but not all scholarly journals are refereed or peer reviewed.

Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field.

The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some scholarly background on the part of the reader and is written for researchers or specialists in that discipline.

The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.

Many scholarly journals, though by no means all, are published by a specific professional organization.

Peer-Reviewed or Refereed Journals

Peer-reviewed journals (sometimes called refereed) contain articles that have been reviewed by experts in the field before they have been published. Many scholarly journals are peer-reviewed, but not all. Also, some items in peer-reviewed or scholarly journals are not research articles. They can be letters to the editor, news and notes, errata, etc. Therefore, you may want to look closely at the item before using it for your paper. Your instructor should be able to provide information as to what type of articles they are looking for.

Examples of Scholarly Journals

American Historical Review


Journal of Bacteriology

New England Journal of Medicine

Arkansas Historical Quarterly

Critical Inquiry

Journal of Urban Economics

Systematic Botany

New England Journal of Medicine