Scholarly article (also called scientific, peer-reviewed, or research article)
A scholarly article presents new research and/or provides new insight into academic issues. Scholarly articles are peer reviewed (evaluated by experts in the field) before being published in a scholarly/research journal. The results must be verifiable – other researchers must be able replicate the results.
Criteria for scholarly articles:
- Scholarly articles contain an abstract, a bibliography, and appendices (when necessary).
- The author's affiliation and publishing date are provided.
- Peer review. Note: even if an article is published in a scholarly journal, it hasn’t necessarily been peer-reviewed. Always check for peer review.
- The target group for research articles is normally other scholars, as shown by the use of the discipline’s specialized vocabulary/terminology.
- Scholarly articles refer to other research, and appropriate methods are utilized and presented.
- Scholarly articles strive to be objective.
- IMRaD structure – Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion – is used in many (but not all) disciplines.
Scholarly journals are published by recognized publishers or institutions. Scholarly journals have the highest professional level of all journals – they utilize peer review and their articles are written by scholars, for scholars. The language is therefore characterized by the discipline’s terminology. Articles in scholarly journals present new insight, refer to previous research, and are clearly dated.
Many scholarly journals are available online. HUAS subscribes to academic databases where it is possible to search for articles in several scholarly journals simultaneously.
What is peer review?
Peer review is the evaluation of an article by experts in the field. In academia, peer review is often used to determine an article's suitability for publication. Peer review methods are used to maintain standards of quality and provide credibility.
IMRaD is an acronym for the structure of scholarly articles in many disciplines. IMRaD stands for Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion – the various components to be included in a scholarly article, in addition to the abstract, bibliography and possible appendices. Note that this structure varies in different disciplines.
“Review article” is a collective term for survey articles, overview articles and systematic reviews. These articles summarize the current state of understanding on a topic, making it easier to get an overview of its key areas and theories. Review articles interpret and evaluate findings from previous studies. Publications that specialize in review articles are called review journals.
- The Citation Compass: Scientific articles
- Search & Write: Academic genres
- How to identify scholarly journal articles? (2 min. video from Cornell University)
- What is a scientific article? (NTNU)
- How to read a scientific journal article? (5 min. video from Kishwaukee College Library)
- Critical article on peer review and poor research: " How science goes wrong" published in The Economist in 2013.
- Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals – a more substantial presentation of what characterizes a scholarly article. From Cornell University Library.