Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

English: Scholarly vs. Non-scholarly Materials

This English Department LibGuide contains library resources for English faculty and students. Learn more about Woodruff's e-resources or read/listen to interesting book reviews.

Defining Scholarly Materials

Scholarly Journals
Scholarly journals usually deal with some type of research.  They are normally published by an academic organization (i.e., Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature)  Articles peer-reviewed, meaning that they have been thoroughly critiqued and edited by experts in the field of interest before they appear in a journal.
Other indicators of scholarly materials:
  • Journal focuses on one discipline (i.e. Journal of Immunology);
  • Author's credentials are included;
  • Present original research or experimentations;
  • More emphasis is placed on content than on appearance.
  • Specialized language, charts, and/or graphs
 Non-Scholarly (Popular) Materials
Non-scholarly or popular materials are generally written for public interest.  Editors normally seek articles that deal with current issues and popular topics in culture and society.  Generally, non-scholarly materials are written for a particular audience; they are often opinionated and not peer-reviewed.
Examples of non-scholarly materials:
  • Popular magazines (i.e. Sports Illustrated, Black Enterprise, Ladies' Home Journal)
  • Opinion magazines (i.e. The New Republic, National Review)
  • Newspapers
  • News magazines (i.e. Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report)
  • Trade journals (i.e. Beverage World, Advertising Age)

What is a Scholarly Journal?

This video is used under Creative Commons license from Northeaster Illinois University Ronald Williams Library.


Profile Photo
Jordan Moore
Robert W. Woodruff Library

Atlanta University Center

111 James P. Brawley Drive, SW

Atlanta, GA 30314

Main Level (Reference)

Phone: 404-978-2014