Here, you're not only looking for scholarly journals, but for journals in which a panel of of experts/peers in the field reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted for publication. Articles selected by this process are considered "peer-reviewed," or "refereed."
Note: Remember that editorial opinion pieces, book reviews, news articles are not peer-reviewed pieces even if they are a part of a peer-reviewed journal. Be sure to carefully evaluate each article.
Use a peer-reviewed journal
--to find literature review on your topic
--to find bibliographies that point to other relevant research
--when looking for original research on a particular topic
--when looking for case studies
Difference between scholarly journals and popular magazines
|Scholarly||Popular & General Interest|
|General Appearance||Serious appearance; may contain graphs, charts, statistics, few pictures, known as "Peer-Reviewed" or "Refereed" or "Academic"||Attractive in appearance, heavily illustrated with photos and ads|
|Writers of Articles||Articles written by scholars and researchers in the field. Before publication, articles are reviewed and approved by subject specialists||Usually free-lance or staff writers|
|Audience||College students, faculty, scholars, or researchers||General public|
|Purpose||To report on original research or experimentation||To provide information, news or to entertain the reader; also may be aimed to sell products or promote a particular point of view|
|Documentation||Always cites sources and may include endnots or a Works Cited page||Sometimes cite their sources|
|Publisher||Often a university, a research institution, or a professional organization||Commercial enterprises or individuals|
|Examples||Journal of Marriage and Family, American Historical Review, Social Problems, New England Journal of Medicine||Ebony, Men's Journal, Good Housekeeping, People, Sports Illustrated|