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What is a scholarly article?

What is a scholarly article?

A scholarly article is one that has been written by an expert in the field. It is generally based on original research and will include a list of references. In addition, scholarly articles may have been peer-reviewed by other experts in the field before they are published. They contain in-depth subject-specific information and will often include specialist terms or language specific to the subject.

The table below shows the differences between a scholarly article printed in a journal and a general article printed in a magazine.

Major differences between journal articles and magazine articles

Aspects                            Journal Articles*                                                    Popular magazine articles                                                            

Target Audience   

  • Scholars, researchers, students
  • General public
  • Non-specialist
  • Specialised terms/jargon**
  • Readers need some knowledge of the subject
  • Non-technical language, easy to understand
  • Detailed
  • Original findings of research
  • Specific Information
  • General information
  • Entertainment
  • Scholar or specialist
  • Usually paid jounalist, not a subject expert
  • Peer-reviewed [critically evaluated by a team of experts in the field]
  • Usually the editor
  • Bibliography and references required
  • Quotes can be verified   
  • Sometimes available
  • Usually longer articles with in-depth analysis of topic
  • Shorter articles with broad overview

   *   Students are expected to use scholarly articles for University-level assignments

   **   Jargon is the vocabulary peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group.