Why go scholary?
Why do I want scholalry content?
Can't I find what I need in newspapers, magazines, and Google?
Articles in scholarly journals usually contain content written by professionals in the field, professors, researchers, and other people who are experts in that area. Why are they useful? First, the journals they are printed are usually published by a professional society or association, or some other group that is an authority on that topic.
This means the focus of the article in them are usually on the most relevant aspects of the field, the latest research, trends, topics, and ideas. Also, the status of these organizations and the publications they issue gives readers an assurance that the content will be the best, most valid available.
Second, articles in scholarly journals go through a special process called the peer review, juried, or refereed process. This means that the article has been reviewed by experts, usually a group of editors or other respected people in the field to ensure the article meets the highest standards of credibility, validity, and accuracy.
What are schloary materials? How can you tell?
How can I tell if an article is "scholarly"?
Look at a print copy of the journal
If you look at a print version of the journal, there is often a list of reviewers on the first few pages, or a description of how the articles in the journal are reviewed.
Look at the journal submission guidelines online
If you don't have a print copy, search for the journal online, and look at the submission guidelines. This section tells authors the process the work will go through in order to be published. For example in the College and Research Libraries Journal the submission guidelines say, "College & Research Libraries is a refereed journal using double-blind reviewing."
Look at a periodical database index
A third way to tell is by looking at an online index of periodicals. These are subscription databases that classify and document periodicals by form, topic, type of periodical, and the article review process. One guide that does this is Ulrich's International Periodicals. When you search for a journal title in Ulrich's it will tell you if a journal is refereed by showing an icon of a column pillars. Caution: Even if a journal is refereed or peer reviewed, it does not mean every article in that journal goes through the process. Most feature or full length article will, but opinions, columns and editorials do may not!
Sorting scholarly articles in a database
In the databases, the articles don't always say much about the publications they came from. In this case you can let the database do the work by limiting your search to those articles that are scholarly. If you want scholarly articles it helps to sort them out from new articles, magazines, and other media. You can do this by looking at the interface for a check box, button or drop down menu that sorts articles by their scholarly status. Databases have different terms they use to show this status, but most all of them have some way to do this. When you do you search look for a way to limit the search by:Academic Journals, Scholarly Journals, or Peer-reviewed.