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Psychology: What is a scholarly journal?

by Cindy L. Yonovich



The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. (2010), states "journal articles are usually reports of empirical studies, literature reviews, theoretical articles, methodological articles, or case studies."
Common characteristics include:
  • „Originality—to report on research, analysis, interpretation & to communicate new ideas, theories, or experimental results
  • „Intended Audience—scientists, physicians, historians, professors, teachers, and other professionals 
  • „Sponsorship—professional organization/society
  • „Editorial and Peer Review—articles are critically evaluated for scholarship by peers and/or professional editors
  • „Publication Frequency—often monthly or quarterly
  • „Pagination—often continuous for an entire volume
  • „Article format & length—often contain abstracts, bibliographies, footnotes & articles are lengthy
  • „Illustrations—few, but look for charts & graphs


Ulrichsweb--results--PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL
Look for peer-reviewed journal characteristics
  • Refereed symbol--YES
  • Serial type--Journal
  • Content type--Academic / Scholarly
    • Content type determines if a publication is scholarly
    • Trade journals often look similar to scholarly publications, but do not contain actual research
    • VERIFY every title you use for research











Look for peer-reviewed journal characteristics
  • Refereed symbol--usually NO (however, some trade titles are peer-reviewed)
  • Serial type--Trade Publication or Magazine
  • Content type--Magazine
    • Magazines often look similar, so beware
    • VERIFY the title if you use it in your Works Cited Page



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