Make sure you understand the nature of the assignment by reviewing these questions. Please see the course assignment in D2L/Brightspace.
Article databases index popular, professional/trade, and scholarly journals (or peer reviewed). Peer reviewed or refereed articles refers to the process in which articles are reviewed by professionals in a field of study before being published. A journal's website should explain the publishing process and if it is peer reviewed or not. Many times, professors use the term peer reviewed and scholarly articles synonymously.
|AUTHOR||Researcher, scholar, or specialist with expertise in the subject; author's credentials are provided||Journalist or staff writer; paid to write articles; may or may not be an expert in the subject||Usually practitioners and professionals in the field (has subject expertise)|
|AUDIENCE||Experts, scholars, researchers, professors and students in the field||General public||Professionals in the field; may appeal to the general public|
|PURPOSE||In-depth report of original research/findings written by the researcher; communicate scholarship||Current events and general interest stories; may report about other's research; to entertain and inform||Report current news, trends, and products about a specific industry; share practical information for professionals in the field|
|TONE||Scholarly or technical jargon or terminology||Accessible and readily understood by a larger audience.||Professional jargon or terminology|
|REFERENCES||Sources are cited in a bibliography, references, endnotes, or footnotes||Rare||Few, if any, sources cited|
|REVIEW||Refereed or reviewed by scholars in the field||Editor||Editor|
|LENGTH||Usually 5+ pages; often includes an abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion||Usually short, a few pages||Usually short, a few pages|
|ADVERTISING||Little to none; occasional ads for professional organizations or publications||Numerous ads for a variety of products and services||Many ads for products, services, and organizations related to the profession or trade|
|FREQUENCY||Issues published quarterly, semi-annually, or annually||Issues published weekly or monthly||Issues published weekly or monthly|
|ADDITIONAL INFORMATION||A book review or editorial published in a scholarly journal does not fit the criteria for a scholarly article.|
This chart will help you determine whether an article is scholarly or popular in nature.
Faculty usually require scholarly articles for a literature review project. They may use the following terms interchangably to identify scholarly journals.
|Criteria||Scholarly Publication||Trade Publication||Popular Publication|
|Author||Researcher, expert or authority on topic||Staff writer or industry specialist||journalist, popular author, or may not be listed|
|Advertising||Very little, or highly specialized||Highly specialized||Significant amount, items with wide appeal|
|Audience||Scholar or researcher, man have advanced reading level, may have specialized vocabulary||Professional in industry or field||Basic reading level for a general audience|
|Bibliography, Works cited||List of references for each article||May have brief bibliographies||Rarely includes a bibliography|
|Indexing||Indexed in specialized databases such as PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts, etc.||Might be found in general or specialized databases||Indexed in general databases such as General Reference Center Gold, or Reader's Guide|
|Level of Language||Serious tone, words are specific to a discipline||Serious tone, words are specific to an industry||Broad and simple language, written for general readers|
|Purpose||information about research in a specific scholarly field||practical information for professionals in a specific industry||Current events and general interest articles|
|Review policy||Articles are reviewed by peers/experts/scholars in the field||editorial board of journal/magazine||editorial board are employees of magazine|
Harvard Business Review
Journal of Marriage and the Family
Once you have a full understanding of the assignment, it's time to choose a topic. Here are a few general suggestions to get you started. Additional suggestions are found in Step 2.