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Psychology Subject Guide: What is a Scholarly Journal?

Purpose of a Scholarly Journal


The purpose of a scholarly journal is to share original research and analysis produced by scholars in a specific field of study with other scholars and researchers interested in the topic.

Content of a Scholarly Journal

 A scholarly journal contains highly researched empirical studies and analytical essays on a specialized topic.

 In a scholarly journal, you will often find the following components:

  • Abstract: A brief summary of the purpose, design, and results of the study.
  • Introduction: Provides background information and explains how the research contributes to the field. May or may not contain the literature review.
  • Literature review: Summarizes the previously published research and points out gaps or inconsistencies addressed by the current study. May either be included in the introduction or exist as its own section.
  • Methods: Detailed information on how the research was conducted.
  • Results: Summarizes the data collected during the study. Often contains charts and graphs.
  • Discussion: Analyzes the data and its significance and may mention implications for future research.
  • Conclusion: Recaps the research results and may mention implications for future research.
  • References:  Properly formatted list of works cited in the article.
  • Technical terminology specific to the field of study
  • Statistical data



Why Use Scholarly Journal Articles?

  • Written and reviewed by expert scholars
  • Articles contain original research that enhance the field of study
  • Arguments are supported by evidence and findings of other scholars
  • Quality and accuracy are assesed through the peer-review process

What is Peer Review?

When an article is peer-reviewed, the article is examined by scholars who are experts on the article's topic.The reviewers check the article for accuracy and determine the signifigance it has to the field of study. Based on their assessment, reviewers can accept a scholar's article for publication in a scholarly journal, return it to the scholar for editing, or reject the article.

What is a Scholarly Journal