"For an activity to be designated as scholarship, it should manifest at least three key characteristics: it should be public, susceptible to critical review and evaluation,and accessible for exchange and use by other members of one's scholarly community.
We thus observe with respect to all forms of scholarship that they are acts of mind or spirit that have been made public in some manner, have been subjected to peer review by members of one's intellectual orprofessional community, and can be cited, refuted, built-upon, and shared among members of that community. Scholarship properly communicated and critiqued serves as the building block for knowledge growth in a field."*
This guide includes information on how to distinguish scholarly from popular sources, and help with reading scholarly sources.
Examples of Scholarly Journals:
News and general interest periodicals sometimes cite sources, though more often do not. Articles may be written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar or a free lance writer. The language of these publications is geared to any educated audience. There is no specialty assumed, only interest and a certain level of intelligence. They are generally published by commercial enterprises or individuals, although some emanate from specific professional organizations. The main purpose of periodicals in this category is to provide information and/or analysis, in a general manner, to a broad audience of concerned citizens.
Examples of substantive news or general interest periodicals:
These publications rarely, if ever, cite sources. Information published in such journals is often second or third hand and the original source is sometimes obscure.
Articles are usually very short, written in simple language and are designed to meet a minimal education level. There is generally little depth to the content of these articles.
The main purpose of popular periodicals is usually to inform and/or entertain the reader.
Examples of popular periodicals:
*Initial quotation is from - Shulman, Lee. The Carnegie Teaching Academy. (1998). The Pew Scholars National Fellowship Program (pp 9-10). Menlo Park, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
This research guide is adapted from: Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals – A Checklist of Criteria. Cornell University Library.