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Scholarly Articles: How can I tell?

In this guide, you will learn about the different parts of a scholarly journal article and what makes it different than a popular journal article.

Learn more about the author

If you can't find an author affiliation or want to learn more about the authors and their credentials, here are some ways to do so:

  • Search for the author on Google. Sometimes you can find a personal page about an individual. Many of the faculty members at OSU have a website that lists their credentials (education) and research.
  • Do a search in one of the online databases to see what else the author has written. Is this person someone who published a lot in this field? For example, a search in the Academic Search Premier database for the author Sandra Hofferth shows the articles she has co-authored on a range of children's issues. Click to see an example of the range of articles she has published.
  • Look up the institution. What kind of institution is it?  Is the author still affiliated with the institution?

Author and affiliation

One of the first things to look for is the author or authors. In a research article, the authors will list their affiliation, usually with a university or research institution. In this example, the author's affiliation is clearly shown on the first page of the article. In a research article, you will never have an anonymous author or need to look for the author's name or affiliation.

.Author affiliation