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Characteristics of peer-reviewed or scholarly journals or periodicals

Sep.22 2017

•Scholarly journals are intended for an audience with knowledge of the subject that is being written about. If you are reading the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, not only do you need to know what thoracic surgery is, you’d better have a good knowledge of surgery or you’re not going to understand what you are reading. These journals are written for an audience that already knows the basics and wants in depth knowledge, such as the latest research studies.

•Articles in scholarly journals are written by scholars with degrees in the field they are writing about and who work in the fields they are writing about.

•Scholarly articles contain citations. Just like you cite material in your papers and list what sources you use, so do they. This is a major clue that you are dealing with a scholarly work.

•Scholarly journals normally do not exist to make money. The need to make a profit does not determine what they publish.

•Scholarly journals are peer-reviewed or refereed. Peer-reviewed? Refereed? So what does that mean? For peer-reviewed, that means your professional peers are looking at your work. Surgical nurses review articles by other surgical nurses. Economists look at the work of other economists; they’re not reviewing the work of botanists. These reviewers have an in-depth knowledge of the subjects in the article they are reviewing. Refereed means that more than one person looks at the article, and the group decides if the article should be published.