A scholarly publication is one in which the content is written by experts in a particular field of study - generally for the purpose of sharing original research or analyzing others' findings.
Scholarly work will thoroughly cite all source materials used and is usually subject to peer review prior to publication. This means that independent experts in the field review or "referee" the publication to check the accuracy and validity of its claims.
The primary audience for this sort of work is fellow experts and students studying the field. As a result, the content is typically much more sophisticated and advanced than articles found in general magazines or professional/trade journals.
In brief, scholarly work is:
Some publications have many characteristics of a scholarly work but are not peer-reviewed. These can be valuable sources for your research, but the extent to which a particular work would benefit from formal scrutiny is not always clear. For example:
While many of your research projects will require you to read articles published in scholarly journals, books, or other peer-reviewed source of information, there is also a wealth of information to be found in more popular publications. These aim to inform a wide array of readers about issues of interest and are much more informal in tone and scope.
These are more specialized in nature than popular publications, but are not intended to be scholarly. These types of publications are aimed at experts in the field and/or keen amateurs, but the content focuses on news, trends in the field, promotional material, etc.
Research findings are not typically disseminated here, though they may report that a scholarly publication is forthcoming. These types of publications typically will contain more advertising than a scholarly journal, though it's usually targeted to the field in some way.
Adapted from Evaluating Information Sources, UBC Library
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