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Course & Subject Guides

Chemistry Capstone - Bradford Campus

This guide provides research assistance to undergraduate students in Dr. Francis Mulcahy's CHEM 1451 Capstone: Chemistry at the Bradford Campus.

Is my article scholarly?

Scholarly Articles Online:

To determine if an online journal article is scholarly, look for the following major characteristics:

  • Summary or abstract at the beginning.
  • Research method is explained
  • Sources are cited
  • Authors are identified and have contact information


Scholarly Article Traits

Scholarly article picture showing scholarly characteristicsScholarly article references

Determining if a journal is scholarly

Determining if a journal is scholarly can be tricky sometimes, especially online journals.  Listed below are some of the characteristics of scholarly journals.  Another way to evaluate is to find the journal online and look at the submission process.  Does it state the article goes through peer-review?  If so, then it is scholarly.  When in doubt, ask a librarian.  If more than one journal is listed with the same name, find the correct journal using the ISSN number (Example: ISSN 0363-0277) which is usually located on the contents page or near the subscription information.  

Here are some basic rules for determination:

Scholarly Journal Trade Magazine/Magazine/Newpaper
Contains Scholarly Articles with an introductory article or letter from the editor Contains Editorials, Feature articles, Reviews, advertisements
Articles contain a summary and references Usually no references or summary
Wrote for a scholarly audience Wrote for a general audience
Journal is published 4-6 times a year Published monthly, weekly, daily
No advertisements Usually contains advertisements
Graphs, charts, and tables Pictures and photos
Longer articles with technical vocabulary Usually shorter articles written for the public
Authors are experts in the field Authors are non-experts, reporters