You will encounter diverse sources in your research. There are many types of sources that can be considered reliable: for example, there are many news and magazine articles that are popular sources but are also reliable.
When your instructor discusses academic journal articles, these differ from popular resources because they are geared toward an academic audience. They are articles written by scholars or professionals in their fields and published in academic journals.
The articles in academic (or scholarly) journals undergo an editorial process that helps to ensure their reliability. This process may be done by an editor or group of editors, or articles may also go through a process where they are reviewed by other scholars in the field. This process is called peer review.
Take a look at the slides below (or download the PowerPoint) to check out some of the key characteristics of a scholarly article.
Remember, you can contact us using our Ask a Librarian services if you are having any trouble deciding if your source is scholarly.