Your instructor has asked you to find a "scholarly journal" or "professional journal" as opposed to a popular magazine. No clear-cut definition can be given but the following are some clues to help you distinguish between them.

A scholarly journal can not be defined by one or two features nor do all features have to be present to make it a journal. Look for a majority of the traits listed above. If in doubt, ask your instructor or a librarian.


   Magazines  Scholarly Journals
 Author   Journalist; layperson. Sometimes author unknown.  May be scholar but not in field covered.    Expert, scholar, professor, etc. in field covered. Identified author.
 Notes  Few or no references or notes  Includes notes and/or research
 Style  Journalistic, written for average reader  Written for experts, shows research
 Editing  Reviewed by one or more persons employed by magazine.  Editorial board of outside scholars review articles before publishing.
 Audience  General public  Scholars or researchers in the field.
 Ads  Many, often in color  Few or none. If any, usually look for books and other 'scholarly' items.
 Look  Glossy, many pictures often in color  More sedate look, mostly print.
 Frequency  Usually weekly or monthly  Usually quarterly or monthly.
 Contents  Current events; general interest  More specialized; research topics.
 Indexes  Found in general periodical indexes  Found in subject specialized indexes.