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What's a Peer-Reviewed Article

Academic, Scholarly Articles and Journals

Characteristics of Scholarly Articles and Journals

The following characteristics list provides features of a Scholarly Article:

  • Often have a formal appearance with tables, graphs, and diagrams
  • Always have an abstract or summary paragraph above the text; may have sections decribing methodology
  • Articles are written by an authority or expert in the field
  • The language includes specialized terms and the jargon of the discipline
  • Titles of scholarly journals often contain the word "Journal", "Review", "Bulletin", or "Research"
  • Usually have a narrow or specific subject focus
  • Contains original research, experimentation, or in-depth studies in the field
  • Written for researchers, professors, or students in the field
  • Often reviewed by the author's peers before publication (peer-reviewed or refereed)
  • Advertising is minimal or none

[Excerpt from Mabee Library-Washburn University]

Scholarly Article Clues

Scholarly, Popular and Trade Articles, What’s the Difference?


You likely have a scholarly journal article if:

  1. Author credentials are provided.
  2. There is an Abstract.
  3. There is a Bibliography / List of References.
  4. Writing style is formal and scientific.
  5. The article is text heavy and contains tables and graphs.

For more details on identifying scholarly journal articles please review the link below.