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Periodicals: Scholarly, Academic, Peer-Reviewed, or Refereed Journals

Periodical is the generic term which includes popular magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers, and subject or professional publications that are published at fixed intervals.
Journal of Accounting, Auditing & Finance
Buildings & Landscapes
SAE International Journal of Materials and Manufacturing
Advances in Dental Research
Structural Concrete
Lighting Research & Technology
International Journal of Automotive Technology
International Journal of Event and Festival Management
Irrigation Science
Advanced Robotics
Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research
International Journal of Construction Management
Journal of Engineering Design
Research in Gerontological Nursing
Journal of Interactive Media in Education
Science and Technology for the Built Environment
Simulation & Gaming
Journal of Forestry
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality
Journal of Composite Materials
Hand Therapy
Abdominal Radiology
Surgical Endoscopy
Journal of Graphic Engineering and Design
Social Work
Horticulture Research

Look at the Article

  • Authored by multiple scholars and researchers with university affiliations and professional titles
  • Article length is usually longer (more than three pages)
  • Article titles are related to a research question or results of a study
  • Article includes an abstract at the beginning; is mostly text with tables, figures, charts, etc.
  • Scholarly references are listed in the form of a bibliography

Look at the Whole Issue

  • Titles may include words, such as BulletinJournal, or Review (e.g. International Review of Hydrobiology)
  • Issued less frequently (monthly, quarterly, or semiannually)
  • Covers are plain
  • Few or no ads; if any, they tend to be for other journals, or for professional services or products
  • Audience is a scholar or researcher in the field; language contains terminology and jargon of the discipline; reader is assumed to have a scholarly background
  • Purpose is to inform, report, or make available original research or experimentation in a specific field or discipline to the rest of the scholarly world; where "new knowledge" is reported
  • With some exceptions, these are not found on a newsstand or in a bookstore; requires a subscription or library access

Scholarly Journals Tutorial

Databases to Use

Scholarly vs. Peer-Reviewed or Refereed

Not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed

Scholarly and peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals publish articles written by experts in that field for an audience of other experts and researchers.  The difference between the two is that peer-reviewed/refereed journals review/critique the content of the articles using a panel/board of peers in that field before the article is accepted for publication.  Most publications that are considered refereed will state so inside of their publication (usually on the table of contents page), on their website (look for a link to "about us"), and in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (see the "title" section of volume 4, which is located behind the Reference Desk, and then look for the arrow symbol refereed arrow next to the title).  Some of the library's databases allow you to limit your searches to scholarly articles and/or peer-reviewed articles, however...

Not everything published in a peer-reviewed journal is peer-reviewed

Things like Letters to the Editor, Book Reviews, Commentary, News, items signed by anonymous, some or all of which may be found in an issue of a peer-reviewed journal, do not go through the peer-review process.  Most of our databases have tools that allow you to refine your search to exclude this type of content from your list of results.