For many research assignments instructors want you to find a journal or scholarly journal article instead of a popular magazine or newspaper article. Journals or scholarly journals are academic or professional publications, rather than general interest, mass-market, popular magazines. Various databases allow you to limit your results to scholarly journals. Use this guide to help you tell the difference between these types of periodicals.
There is no clear-cut definition, but the following are some clues to help you distinguish between journal articles and popular magazine articles. A scholarly journal would have at least a few, but not necessarily all of the following features.
The most prestigious research articles are peer-reviewed, meaning they are edited by an expert panel.