Can someone please explain to me the difference between a professional journal and a scholarly journal?

I have done some research, and from what I gather, a professional journal is a type of scholarly journal (a subset, if you will). I lost marks in my essay for using a professional journal, and not a scholarly journal. The database I used to find the journal (provided by the university) indicated that I was using an article filed under scholarly journal.

Can someone please shed some light on this situation, simply because I do not want to make the same mistake again. I do not care if I am wrong, I genuinely want to just find out the answer.

  • What essay? And how did you use the journal. – Tobias Kildetoft Apr 13 '17 at 10:55
  • Scholarly journal is in general more academically oriented. Professional could deal on a wide range of topics faced by some professionals (e.g., basketball players) and not always has anything to do with scholarly matters. – PsySp Apr 13 '17 at 11:14

According to Lock Haven University:

A scholarly journal is also called an academic journal. It is a periodical written by academic experts in various subject areas. A "peer review" journal is a subset within scholarly journals in which the articles submitted are reviewed by researchers in the same discipline to determine if the article merits publication. This review process helps to ensure that only excellent and high-quality research articles are published. All authors who publish in the scholarly literature MUST cite sources they used in the writing of the article, so you will find a section at the end named variously as bibliography, sources cited, works cited, or footnotes.

A professional (sometimes called a trade) journal is a journal written for people who work in a certain field. Grocers, resturant owners, doctors, librarians, teachers, nurses, and other professionals need information to help them conduct their jobs and profession more efficiently. Trade journals are half way between scholarly journals and magazines: they require some background knowledge but the articles are not scholarly in nature. They address workplace issues, provide tips on better work performance, and other work-related information. The articles that are submitted are reviewed by professional editors.

So basically, a scholarly journal is most likely written by someone who works in academia and a professional journal is written by someone who works in industry. In your situation, you could argue that the library is at fault for mistakenly labeling the journal as "scholarly" or your professor didn't know it was a "scholarly" journal. It wouldn't hurt to bring it up to your professor and see what he/she says.

  • In the profession journal paragraph, The articles that are submitted are reviewed by professional editors. Do we consider those reviews "peer reviews"? – scaaahu May 13 '17 at 14:46

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