Unlike magazine or newspaper articles, which are typically written for a popular audience who may not be that familiar with a topic, a scholarly article, or academic article, is an article written by scholarly experts in a field, with the audience as other experts in that field. They typically document original research or comprehensive reviews of original research in the field. These articles are expected to lay out their research methods, their findings, and the conclusions they arrived to based on those findings. This makes it easier for other researchers to assess these findings, and to duplicate them.
A scholarly article is also often peer-reviewed, which means it has been subjected to a level of additional scrutiny, in which it was reviewed and critiqued by other experts in the field before being published. Not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, but all peer-reviewed articles are scholarly. Scholarly articles are important, respected resources in academia, and will be important in your time in college.
Where do you find scholarly articles?
Databases collect scholarly articles, and are typically organized around a particular discipline or topic. Databases sometimes include other kinds of resources, including newspaper and magazine articles. If you're uncertain if an article in one of the following databases is scholarly or not, follow the guidelines below for identifying scholarly articles.
How do you know if something is scholarly, or peer-reviewed?
Many of the databases below either have only scholarly articles, or will specify with icons whether a particular article in its database is scholarly. Most will also allow you to filter your search so that only you only retrieve scholarly or peer-reviewed articles.
For more information, see below.