What Is An Academic Journal?

When we say “scholarly” or “peer reviewed” journals, we are referring to publications with strict editorial processes where articles are submitted by their authors for review by a board or panel of experts in the field of the publication’s coverage. Only after approval of the board does an article make it into print in these types of journals. The content of such articles may contain primary research; be quite lengthy; include charts and graphs of research data; and include a list of references used by the author. They are a bit lengthy, but one of their strong points also is the list of references/sources that the author(s) have utilized. That list can sometimes provide leads to follow-up on for additional articles and information that you can research.

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Professional journals are similar to scholarly/academic journals but tend to be produced by industry-specific associations. These articles too provide both primary and secondary research, but mainly a re-application of existing research. These may provide the best information for business papers, as they contain the theoretical research but pose it in more of a real-world application.

One clarification that I should also make is that scholarly journals are virtually the only place you will find true primary research articles. However, a great deal of content in them is also of the secondary research nature; borrowing from previous researchers and writers for their content.

On the contrary to these types of sources, “BusinessWeek”, “U.S. News & World Report”, and “Fortune” are magazines (periodicals). Those writers have to face an editorial process or board before their material sees the light of day as well as the journal authors. It’s just that the scholarly journal authors have to jump through a few more hoops, or the same number of hoops, only smaller. These types of articles provide real-life application of the theory or examples for your papers, but do not provide the theory itself to support points in a paper.. They can be used for Acolor@, exemplify or add interest in a paper but, when outside sources are used, the support should come from scholarly or professional journals (or academic/professional organization websites).

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