Instructors typically require references to articles from academic journals that support your argument/thesis/hypothesis.
What is an academic journal and what makes it different from a trade journal or a popular magazine? In this section, we'll take a look at each type of publication, and the features that make each unique.
Three examples of popular publications
Three examples of trade publications
JournalA periodical devoted to disseminating original research and commentary on current developments in a specific discipline, subdiscipline, or field of study (Journal of Clinical Epidemiology), usually published in quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly issues sold by subscription (click here to see an example). Journal articles are usually written by the person (or persons) who conducted the research. Longer than most magazine articles, they almost always include a bibliography or list of works cited at the end. In journals in the sciences and social sciences, an abstract usually precedes the text of the article, summarizing its content. Most scholarly journals are peer-reviewed. Scholars often use a current contents service to keep abreast of the journal literature in their fields of interest and specialization.
Peer ReviewSaid of a scholarly journal that requires an article to be subjected to a process of critical evaluation by one or more experts on the subject, known as referees, responsible for determining if the subject of the article falls within the scope of the publication and for evaluating originality, quality of research, clarity of presentation, etc. Changes may be suggested to the author(s) before an article is finally accepted for publication. In evaluation for tenure and promotion, academic librarians may be given publishing credit only for articles accepted by peer-reviewed journals. Some bibliographic databases allow search results to be limited to peer-reviewed journals. Synonymous with juried and refereed.