Why are journal articles so important?
Journal articles, particularly those found in scholarly journals, are a very important source of scholarly research because they:
- Synthesize the latest research and theories of scholars, researchers, experts and thinkers
- Contain reviews of the latest developments, trends, and techniques in your field of study
- Contain information that is more current then what could be found in books and encyclopedias
- Often contain extensive bibliographic reference lists that can be used to direct you to other important resources for your research
- Sometimes contain topical information that cannot be found anywhere else
What are journals?
Journals or "periodicals" are magazines that are published on a periodical (i.e. monthly, weekly, bi-weekly, etc.) basis.
There are 3 different types of journals:
1. Scholarly or "Peer-reviewed" Journals:
- Published by research centers, academic presses, or professional associations
- Written by researchers or experts in the field (i.e. faculty, researchers, experts, etc.)
- Contain the academic credentials and/or institutional affiliations of the author(s)
- Are reviewed and critically evaluated ("peer reviewed") by a board of experts in the field
- Tend to be longer - more than 5 pages - in length
- Contain bibliographies, endnotes, and footnotes
- Are written using the scholarly or technical language of the discipline of study
Examples of scholarly journals:
2. Trade Magazines
- Published by professional or "trade" organizations
- Written by staff writers or specialists in the industry
- Often, but not always, list the credentials and/or institutional affiliations of the author(s)
- Are usually reviewed by an editor
- Tend to be moderate - around 5 pages - in length
- May, though not often, contain a short bibliography
- Are written using the language of the industry
Examples of trade magazines:
3. Popular Magazines
- Published by commercial presses
- Written by journalists, staff or freelance writers
- Rarely, if ever, contain the credentials and institutional affiliations of the author(s)
- Are usually reviewed by an editor and are not "peer reviewed"
- Tend to be shorter - less than 5 pages - in length
- Rarely, if ever, contain a list of cited resources
- Are written using the language for a general audience
Examples of popular magazines:
OK. So now you know what a journal article is. The next question is "How do I find all these journal articles at the Tyndale Libraries?". Visit the next the "How to find a journal article" page to find out how.