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Periodicals: Peer-Reviewed & Scholarly Journals

What are periodicals? How do I find periodicals? What kinds of periodicals are there? How do I cite periodical articles?

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly Journals:

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  • Contain articles written by and for college students and experts in a discipline.
  • Are concerned with academic study, especially research, and demonstrate the methods and concerns of scholars.
  • Report original research or experimentation and communicate this information to the rest of the scholarly world.
  • Use language  to reflect the discipline covered, as it assumes some knowledge or background on the part of the reader.
  • Rigorously cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies.
  • Often are published by professional organizations.
  • While not all scholarly journals go through the peer-review process, it is usually safe to assume that a peer-reviewed journal is also scholarly.

How Will I Know What I Have?

  • Usually you can identify a peer-reviewed or scholarly journal by the characteristics listed above.
  • Most of the databases licensed by GRCC provide away for you to select results from peer-reviewed and/or scholarly journals.  Some databases flag peer-reviewed titles only; others denote all scholarly titles. 
  • If you are unsure about whether a journal is scholarly or peer-reviewed, or both, contact a librarian at 616-234-3868, or send a question using [Ask a Librarian]. 

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Peer-Reviewed  Journals:referee

  • Are sometimes called  refereed  journals.
  • Are scholarly periodicals which require that each topical article submitted for publication be critically assessed by an independent panel of scholarly or scientific experts or peers.  The review process helps ensure that published articles reflect solid scholarship and are as accurate as possible.
  • Reject as many, or more, articles than it receives. Articles are often returned for further editing before they are accepted for publication.
  • May be identified by an editorial statement or instructions to authors (usually in first few pages of the journal or at the end), or by using standard reference directories.  Some full-text databases provide ways to limit search results to peer-reviewed articles – sometimes by simply checking a box on the search screen. 
  • Reflect a milestone for academics seeking tenure.  In higher education, publication in such a journal  is an integral step in an academic’s profession. It is often a required step in an academic tenure process, and as sign that one’s work “measures up” in the opinion of one’s professional peers.