Structure of Scholarly Articles and Peer Review

Explains the standard parts of a medical research article, compares characteristics of types of journals, and shows how to find peer reviewed articles and journals.

Compare Types of Journals

 

Scholarly Journals

Professional Trade Journals

Newsstand Magazines

Audience

Researchers and experts

Members of the Trade/Profession

General Public

Authors

Researchers and experts

Staff writers and members of the profession

Staff writers, articles often written by groups, sometimes corporations

Bibliography

Always. Plus footnotes or endnotes; suggested resources for more information

Sometimes a brief bibliography, variable by profession, no footnotes or endnotes

Almost never

Publisher

Publishers of scholary journals, a university press, or  a professional association

Typically associations or commercial groups

Typically commercial

Language

Formal or semiformal scholarly language; may use jargon or technical terms that assum expertise in the field

Informal; may use technical or specialized jargon

Informal; written at or below the reading level of average high school students

Content

Research reports and commentary

Trends, new technologies, workplace standards in the field

General interest and news

Purpose

To disseminate findings from original research or experiments

To advance profession by covering issues and topics in the field

To inform and entertain

Reliability

Good - the articles undergo blind reviews by other scholars

Average - articles undergo reviews, but articles are sometimes biased to support industry/vendors

Average to Fair - deadlines mean content review is limited, stories sometimes come from "third parties" where review is very difficult

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