Identifying Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles are written by researchers or experts in a field in order to share the results of their original research or analysis with other researchers and students. These articles often go through a process known as peer review where the article is reviewed by a group of experts in the field.

Scholarly Articles

  • It’s not always easy to tell if an article has been peer reviewed. Some databases will help by labeling results scholarly or academic. However, you will still need to examine each article to be sure that it’s scholarly.
  • The following characteristics can help you determine if the article you’re looking at is scholarly:
    • Author(s) name included
      • Scholarly articles are written by experts of researchers, so make sure that the author’s name is included.
    • Technical or specialized language
      • Scholarly articles will often use technical or highly specialized language.
    • Written for professionals
      • Scholarly articles are published in academic journals, which often have titles that suggest they are written for professionals in a particular field of study, and not for the general public.
    • Charts, graphs, and diagrams
      • Scholarly articles communicate research results, which means they will often include charts, graphs, or diagrams.
    • Long (5+ pages)
      • Scholarly articles tend to be relatively long; generally they are five or more pages.
    • Bibliography included
      • Scholarly articles will always include references to the sources cited or a bibliography.