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HIS 295/POS 295: The American Constitution: The Supreme Court: Scholarly Journals

Characteristics of scholarly journals

Sources for finding scholarly publications

Is this SCHOLARLY material?

Comparing Scholarly Journals, Magazines, and Trade Journals



Scholarly Journals




Trade Journals


Minimal to none




Students, experts and subject specialists; language used by experts in the field

Consumers or general public; language is meant for a broad audience

Practitioners; those who work in the field; language specific to the profession


Identified with contact information; expertise identified

May or may not be identified

Typically identified with indication of expertise


Often, standardized sections such as Literature Review, Methodology, Discussion, Conclusion; may be 10-20 pages or more

Typically short articles; may be less than one page

Varies in format, although there may be standard columns in each issue or standard formats

Cover appearance

Plain and consistent appearance; may include Table of Contents; typically will provide volume and other numbers or dates

Glossy covers; photographs; other cover art. 

Photographs or art work specific to the field


Tables, figures, or graphs are most typical

Full range of graphic art and photography

Mix of business or scholarly graphics and other artwork

Peer reviewed

Look at the journals’ “Instructions for authors.”  May be peer reviewed by a panel of experts. 





To report original research or promote critical discussion of a topic

To entertain, inform

To inform practitioners in a field


May include Advances in, American, Annual, Journal of, Research, Review, Transactions, International

Popular titles, consumer-oriented

Identifies the trade or profession in some way



Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology


Research in Higher Education

Saturday Evening Post


Consumer Reports

Food Business News


American Libraries