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Journals & Magazines

This LibGuide provides information about how to distinguish scholarly journals from professional or trade magazines and from popular magazines.

Scholarly Journals


Scholarly, academic, peer-reviewed, juried, or refereed — These are all synonyms for the same type of journal, one that presents and preserves a record of scholarship for an academic or research-oriented audience. The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some academic background on the part of the reader.

Many academic journals, though by no means all, are published by scholarly societies or discipline-specific professional organizations. As part of the publication process, scholarly articles are reviewed by committees of other notable scholars. Such reviewers are considered to be the writer's peers; hence, the term peer-reviewed journal. Usually, a committee or jury of scholars does the reviewing; hence, the terms juried journal or refereed journal.

Peer-reviewed articles most often have an abstract or descriptive summary of the article printed before the main text starts. The affiliations of the authors are provided, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article — universities, research institutes, think tanks, and the like.

Refereed articles build upon the scholarship of the past to advance knowledge in a field; thus, they will always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies to which the reader can refer in her own pursuit of the topic. Moreover, the ethics of scholarship require that a writer clearly identify those works of others writers upon which his own work is based.


  • American Economic Review
  • Reading Research Quarterly
  • JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Journal of Marriage and the Family (published by the National Council on Family Relations)
  • Modern Fiction Studies
  • Sex Roles: A Journal of Research