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Psychology 203 Information Management Assignment: Step Two: What is a Research Article?

Magazines, Journals and Newspapers

There are three basic types of periodicals. Each can be used for research.  Your professor may specify the type of source required. What are the differences?

Popular Magazines

 Articles in popular magazines are written by journalists, reporters or staff on the magazine.  Some magazine articles have no listed  author. These articles are designed for the general public and have glossy pages with photographs and advertising. They may  include information from more scholarly studies. Magazines have editors and fact checkers who make sure the material included is reliable and accurate.  Magazine articles are not peer-reviewed.



Articles in newspapers are written by journalists, reporters and freelance staffers. Often, no author is listed. The byline indicates the name of the author. They generally focus on breaking events, but may also be stories or series that expose particular problems in society. Articles are generally short and less detailed than those in a magazine or scholarly journal. High quality newspapers use editors and fact checkers to authenticate accuracy. Newspapers are not peer-reviewed.

  Scholarly Journals

Articles  in scholarly journals are written by experts in their fields. Research articles report on studies  and include charts, data often on specific populations Scholarly journals are often called "peer-reviewed" because the articles must go through an approval process by other scholars before they are published. The articles are generally longer, more academic and include a list of sources at the end.  Scholarly journals generally  do not have glossy pages, photographs or advertising. Each field has its own set of journals or "literature" as they are sometimes called.

What is a Research Article?

Research articles  report findings of studies  and are published in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.  Research articles and generally have the following sections:

  • Title

  • Abstract

  • Introduction (may include hypothesis)
  • Literature Review

  • Method

  • Results

  • Discussion

  • References

Watch this video for more information about the sections of a research paper.

Literature Review articles do not present findings. They provide a summary of the research that has been done on a topic. 

For this assignment, select research articles. Look for the sections listed to determine if it is a research articles.  Some but not all sections may not be included.

Limit to Peer-Reviewed

Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals include articles that have been written by specialists in the field and reviewed by specialists before they are accepted for publication.

Popular magazines such as Time or newspapers such as The New York Times have valid information but are NOT peer-reviewed.

You can limit your search to a peer-reviewed article when you are using a Library database such as Psychology and Behavioral Sciences or  Social Sciences Full-Text. 

Use the limiters in the database to retrieve only peer-reviewed articles from academic journals. Use the date slide to locate recent articles.