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Communication 103

What are Scholarly Journals?

Your instructor probably said that you need to focus your research using "scholarly journals" and other academic resources from the library. That means that you cannot randomly search online, scrolling through webpages, blogs or Wikipedia for research. So, what does "scholarly” and “academic” mean when it comes to research?

Scholarly journals are published by universities, societies, or associations of specialized fields. Articles are written by scholars in that field who present the results of original research and experimentation or provide technical or professional information. They go through a peer-review evaluation process before being published. Peer-reviewed articles are reviewed by other scholars in the same field who provide feedback about the article's quality, accuracy, relevance to scholarship in the field, validity of research methodology and procedures, and more.

Scholarly journal images

  • Focused on a particular field of study
  • Based on original research or experimentation
  • Written by scholars or experts in a particular field
  • Read by professionals, students or educators in the subject area
  • Use scholarly, technical, research-oriented language
  • Include references, bibliographies or footnotes
  • Contain little or no advertising

What is the Value of Popular Magazines?

Often, you can find some wonderful examples and stories, related to your topic in mainstream magazines. While you shouldn't rely on sources like these exclusively, they might be useful to you occasionally. Here are some of their main characteristics:

Popular magazine images

  • General interest stories or entertainment information
  • Based on fact-finding and/or opinion
  • Written by staff writers or journalists
  • Read by the general public
  • Easy to understand language
  • Usually do not include references
  • Contain lots of colorful advertising

Scholarly Journals at MSJC

The following is a list of the library databases that are good resources for scholarly journal articles:

  • EBSCO Search from a wide range of research databases for magazine and journal articles. Subject coverage is broad and includes scholarly (peer reviewed) publications.
  • Academic Search Complete This multi-disciplinary database provides access to an extensive collection of full-text peer-reviewed journals, magazines, periodicals, reports, books and videos that meets the needs of scholars in virtually every discipline.
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection - Psychology & Behavioral Sciences collection includes peer reviewed journals and general periodicals in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, anthropology, etc.
  • JSTOR Full Text of scholarly articles. Subject coverage ranges from the humanities to the social sciences.
  • Click here to view list of all of the databases


What Exactly Are Databases?