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Publication Types

This guide outlines and explains the different types of publications.

Scholarly Journals

Scholarly journals are sometimes called academic journals. The terms are often used interchangeably to describe the same type of publication. These types of publications are published by universities, academic institutions, professional associations, and commercial enterprises and are compiled by scholars, academics, and other subject authorities. These resources feature knowledge and commentary from experts in the field to which the subject matter relates.

These journals feature research, studies, and critical commentary about a variety of subject areas. 

They can feature:

  • charts
  • empirical research 
  • graphs
  • many references (information sources)

Some examples are:

  • Harvard International Review 
  • International Journal of Emergency Services
  • Journal of Behavioral Sciences

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Peer-reviewed articles are published in scholarly journals that use the peer-review process to select articles for publication. In the peer-review process, an article written by an expert in a particular field of study is submitted to a scholarly journal on the academic subject. The article is then reviewed by a panel of individuals who are also experts in teat academic subject; they are the scholarly peers of the person who wrote the article. Th panel members use a strict set of standards to determine the quality of the article and ultimately decide if the article will be published in that journal. This review adds an element of authority and validity to the article due to the confirmation from other experts within that field. 

For more information on understanding and identifying peer-reviewed articles, please see this guide.

Limit to Peer-Reviewed

In order to limit to peer-reviewed in the online databases select one of these options:

Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals

Peer reviewed

*The wording may vary slightly, but checking these limiters will yield peer-reviewed resources in the online databases.

How to identify a scholarly or academic book:

  • Uses primary sources for its research
  • Written with academic terminology
  • Published by a university, academic institution, professional association, or commercial enterprise
  • Written for an academic audience or with research in mind
  • May feature theoretical or analytical information
  • Written by an *expert in the field

*Expert: holds a terminal degree in the field; maintains a teaching or research position at a college, university, or other institution; and produces research studies that contribute to the field

Empirical Research

To conduct empirical research is to gain knowledge by direct or indirect observation or experience, through a phenomenon or an experiment. Empirical evidence can be analyzed quantitatively or qualitatively.  It is not formed from scientific theory or belief systems.

Articles that report on empirical research contain these different parts or sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods or Methodology
  • Results or Conclusion
  • Discussion 
  • References or Bibliography

These types of articles will also feature more than one author and contain a hypothesis followed by data.

Recognizing Empirical research:

  • found in a peer-reviewed journals
  • feature charts, graphs, tables, or statistics
  • a longer article, likely more than 5 pages

To determine whether or not the research is empirical look for the methodology section:

Methodology: Empirical Study; Qualitative Study

Methodology: Empirical Study; Interview

*Other terms or classifications may accompany Empirical Study