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Q&A: What is an academic journal?

Professors may require that all or at least some sources for assignments come from "academic" or "scholarly" journals. Both terms are used to describe such journals. So what is an academic journal? A "journal" is a publication that is published on a regular basis such as four or twelve times a year. Academic journal articles are aimed at faculty, students, and other researchers in a field. Published academic journal articles typically have been evaluated and "graded" by two or more experts in the field before being published. Academic journal articles typically include a list of works cited (references). The authors are named and their academic qualifications and affiliations are listed. Academic journal articles often report on an empirical study and include sections such as a literature review, description of the methodology used in the study, the results, and discussion and implication of the results. This page goes into more detail on the characteristics of academic journals, particularly in comparison with magazines. Rod Library databases provide ways to help identify academic or scholarly journal articles in accounting, economics, finance, management, and marketing. ABI/INFORM Global is one example; the database publisher arranges search results by publication type, including Scholarly Journals. While this method does NOT work perfectly, it does speed up the process of finding scholarly or academic journal articles on a topic. ABI/INFORM and other business databases with this feature such as Business Source Elite and Business & Company Resource Center can be accessed from the Rod Library home page under Databases A-Z or from the Rod Library Business Portal.

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