A scholarly article is an author’s research on a specific subject presented in a written form, usually created by a scientist, scholar or an expert in some specific professional field. Scholarly articles are written in accordance with a number of strict rules and clear structure. There is no room for neither literary, informal epithets and descriptions nor extra information unrelated to the main subject of the text. Likewise, a scholarly article writing shouldn’t be emotional. These factors mainly define a scholarly study, or an academic writing called a scholarly article.
There are two main types of scholarly articles, determined by the original text taken as the basis — primary and secondary scholarly articles. Primary article is based on the author’s own fundamental research, while secondary is written with the help of already published works.
Either way, the main feature of a scholarly article is its novelty, thereafter a published scholarly article in a scholarly journal is considered as a mark of intelligence and professional development of a scientist. In other words, scholarly journal articles represent the ability to find new crucial questions, and, at the same time, think out-of-the-box when giving a brand-new answer to old-fashioned queries.
Publishing in scholarly journals is not only a tool used to build an image of a scientist but an essential part of their professional life — thereby scientists search for new solutions and improve their knowledge.
What Are Scholarly Sources?
In brief, a scholarly source is a previously published or peer-reviewed document, article or study, with additional aim to transfer information through space and time. These are brochures, books, monographs, digests, a thesis of reports, scholarly journals, catalogs, technical limitation documents. Same as scholarly articles, they are divided into primary and secondary scholarly sources. Primary scholarly sources include either brand new data or original concept of well-known ideas and facts, as the secondary scholarly sources are to give an insight into primary sources. For instance, reference books, encyclopedias, library charts are intended to promptly notify the science world about new primary sources published, as well as give the main ideas about its content.
If you have doubts whether the source is scholarly, follow these criteria:
- The author’s credentials or contacts should be provided.
- Check if the article or study is peer-reviewed, investigate the publisher.
- Learn the content and the structure of the study carefully.
Structure and Content of a Journal Scholarly Article
As mentioned above, a journal scholarly article is to be complete under strict standards and has to include such mandatory parts:
- Title performs two main goals, which are to represent the content of the article briefly and draw the readers’ attention. Mainly it includes up to 12 words, yet is always to be informative, clear and precise.
- An introduction gives a preliminary insight into the subject and the main goals of the research. The author describes the theoretical and practical importance of the work, highlights a number of problems and issues solved in the study. Each journal scholar article reveals a specific idea and key mission, thus an introduction has to answer the question “What will be created or produced as a result of this research?”. Moreover, this part shows the novelty and urgency of the scholarly article.
- References — obviously, it is a segment to list all scholarly sources used by the author. It is also considered as a theoretical core of the scholarly article with the main goal to discover and appreciate information about the chosen subject.
- The main body of the scholarly article is the most important and vast part of it. It discloses the whole process of the research gradually, shows its phases, poses the author’s reasoning, along with experiments and scientific observations. Schemes, graphics, charts, diagrams, photos, models are relevant in this segment of the scholarly article.
- A conclusion is a section with results presented in a thesis form, drew as much objective and impersonal, as possible. Still, the author’s personal point of view on the weight of the research is also accepted here.
In addition, a journal scholarly article may include such optional part as abstracts — usually written at the end of the main body of the article to tell about the main characteristics of the subject, issues, objectives, results. Abstracts are useful in terms of whether the article is relevant and suitable to be read in full. As a rule, abstracts shouldn’t include the same text as the main part do, neither should it be a rewrite of it.
Internet as a Scholar Source
To start with, as the Internet has become an essential part of today’s life, it may not only be used to entertain but to research for, record and commit scholar openings and studies. Unfortunately, the majority of scholarly journal articles is published in local periodicals, which complicate its free access. Internet successfully resolves the issue, thus not only taking a role of a huge library but a scholarly public publishing as well. Besides, the Internet gives access to rare old paper editions, previously scanned in libraries. Similarly, it may remedy the problem of a distance, as most of the libraries, universities, science communities have their own web pages to introduce various scholar researches and articles.
Having said that, there is a problem of reliability of the Internet as a scholarly source. To confirm authenticity, follow these useful tips:
- Examine the domain of the web page you are going to consider as a scholarly source.
- Check who is sponsoring the web page and who is the publisher.
- Author’s credentials and/or contacts should be included. Author has to be a proven specialist in a specific field.
- The page should have been updated lately. Finally, the information has to be objectively given and meet the scholarly journal article requirements in overall.
- Define if the facts or rather someone’s subjective opinion is given on the web page.
- Check if the source is a primary or a secondary.
- The page has a reference to a print original source or/and sources.
To conclude, even though the Internet may be considered as a tool to easily and quickly find scholarly studies, articles along with other scholarly sources, it should be used correctly and warily.