General Information

Periodical publications (usually monthly or quarterly), containing scholarship, empirical research reports, and/or learned commentary on subjects of special interest to a specific academic or professional community. Journals are a formal means of communicating ideas in academic scholarship; and publication in journals is a major criterion for promotion among university faculty. Articles are peer reviewed or refereed (screened) before they are approved for publication by peer professionals (scholars and/or practitioners) who evaluate articles by such criteria as:

  • Sound methodology -- is the method by which these data were gathered consistent with normal and accepted practice within the discipline?
  • Conclusions -- are the conclusions consistent with the data gathered?
  • Significance -- is the research trivial within the context of the discipline?


  • Written by and for scholars, researchers, and professionals -- a formal conversation among specialists
  • Contain bibliographies with full citations
  • Filtering ensures high credibility
  • In-depth analysis of narrowly-focused subjects
  • Authoritative source for research findings


  • Dense, technical vocabularies may require reading an overview and gathering terminology beforehand
  • Normally published monthly or quarterly; not a great source for the latest developments
  • May only be available in libraries or through licensed Internet sources ($$)
  • Target audience: Scholars, researchers, & professionals within a discipline