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Introduction to Leadership: What is a Scholarly Journal?

Is this Journal Scholarly?



Scholarly Journals

Trade Journals

Popular Magazines



To present and report on original research findings in a specific field / discipline


To identify profession / industry trends and developments, and provide practical advice



To inform and entertain a general audience, produced and sold for profit



Plain, “serious” cover

Text with black & white graphs, charts, and photographs which support the author’s research



Generally glossy cover

Color photographs and illustrations used to support the article as well as draw in readers


Glossy cover

Color photographs and illustrations used to support the article as well as draw in readers



Expert, scholar, or researcher in the field / discipline



Practitioner within the profession / industry or specialty journalist


Magazine writer or free-lance writer.  Credentials often not provided

Structure & Writing Style


Lengthy articles with abstract, literature review, methodology, results conclusion, and bibliography

Uses technical terminology of the specific field / discipline



Brief articles with no set structure

Uses jargon of the specific profession / industry


Usually brief articles but can be longer and sometimes structured

Uses simple language, meeting a minimum education level



Articles reviewed and evaluated by other experts in the field / discipline (peer-reviewed / refereed)



Articles may be reviewed by one editor with knowledge related to the topic


Articles are not evaluated by experts in the discipline, but by editors on staff



Each article includes full footnotes and/or bibliographies



Some articles include brief footnotes and/or bibliographies


Very few articles include bibliographies


  • American Journal of Education
  • Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
  • Modern Fiction Studies
  • Indiana Business
  • Instrumentalist
  • Preaching
  • Time
  • Ladies Home Journal
  • Car and Driver
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