You don't have scholarly works without "scholars"--people who are experts in their field and dedicated to study and advancing knowledge of the subject. Typically they hold advanced degrees in their field and work for an organization valuing education and research, as well as practice of the profession. This may be a university or educational healthcare facility, or sometimes a "think tank." Look for academic affiliation on your articles or "Google" your authors' names to learn more about their expertise.
Scholars typically publish their research in special "scholarly journals." Articles in scholarly journal are typically organized in the same basic fashion, which helps make them easier for you to recognize. Scholarly journals are one of three main types of publications (see below) including popular (magazines and newspapers) and trade (for people who work in a specific field).
Examples of Trade and Scholarly Journals in Nursing
The information below can help you understand the differences between scholarly journals, professional/trade journals, and popular periodicals.
|Criteria||Scholarly Journals||Professional/Trade Journals||Popular Periodicals/ Magazines|
|Audience||Researchers and experts||Members of a trade or profession||The general public|
|Author||Researchers and experts||Staff writers and experts in the field||Staff writers, although many articles are unsigned|
|References (Sources cited)||Includes reference lists and bibliography. All quotes and facts are documented.||Reference lists sometimes included.||References rarely included.|
|Purpose||To disseminate research findings||To publicize current topics in the field and professional issues||To disseminate general information or to entertain|
|Content||Detailed research reports and methodologies||Trends, standards, and new technologies in the field||General interest stories and news; may include personal narrative and opinions|
|Language||Jargon that assumes expertise in the field||Jargon that assumes expertise in the field||Language that requires no expertise|
|Publisher||Associations or universities||Associations||Commercial organizations|
|Layout||Highly structured organization; includes abstract, bibliography, charts or graphs||Structured organization; usually includes abstract, bibliography, charts or graphs||Informal organization: eye-catching type and format; includes illustrations or photographs|
|Examples||Journal of the American Medical Association; Political Science Quarterly||Hospital Business Week; Real Estate Weekly News; Farm Industry News||Time; Newsweek; Science News|