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Introduction to Rutgers University Libraries

This Library Guide introduces you to the basic services provided by Rutgers Libraries. It contains short videos to help you get started.

What does scholarly mean?

What does scholarly mean?

  • A scholarly article is written by researchers who are experts in their field.
  • Researchers submit articles to the editors of the journals, who have them reviewed by several experts in the field, before deciding whether or not to publish the article. This is referred to as a scholarly, peer reviewed or refereed article. 
  • Newspapers, news magazines, and popular magazines are not scholarly. 
  • Trade journals often provide information about current developments in a field, but they are not peer reviewed, so they are not scholarly.
  • Generally, scholarly articles are more than 8 pages in length with diagrams charts and graphs, have a list of references at the end, are written in the specialized jargon of the field, and note the institution affiliation of the author.

Where do I find scholarly articles?

Where do I find scholarly articles?

While it is possible to find some scholarly articles on the Internet using a search engine such as Google, many scholarly articles are not freely available to the public. The Libraries subscribe to many Indexes and Databases that contain scholarly articles. Just as not every item in a scholarly journal is scholarly, not everything in an Index or Database is scholarly. Some of the databases, such as those provided by the vendor EBSCOhost allow you to limit your search results to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.

If you're searching for scholarly articles in Google Scholar, be sure to use Google Scholar in Rutgers Universities Libraries Databases for links to full-text articles at Rutgers.

Is this article scholarly?

See below for typical features of a scholarly article.  Multidisciplinary databases like QuickSearch and Academic Search Premiere have check box options to filter for Peer Reviewed Journal articles. Just because your article is published in a scholarly journal doesn't mean that your article is scholarly because scholarly journals contain the following items which are NOT scholarly.  If you are unsure about using the information you've found, be sure to check with a librarian at Ask a Librarian or your professor.

Scholarly vs Non-fiction Books: Is this book scholarly?

Scholarly books, ranging from general to specific information on a given topic, can be great sources for research papers. Review the table below to compare the differences between scholarly books and popular non-fiction books.

You can use QuickSearch to locate and request books held at any of the Rutgers libraries. 

Rutgers also has access to thousands of scholarly electronic books in ProQuest Ebook Central.

Scholarly vs. Non-Fiction Books


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