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A scholarly journal is a journal that contains scholarly articles, of course!
Scholarly journals, also called peer-reviewed, academic, or refereed journals, are different than popular publications such as magazines and newspapers. There is no single defining characteristic of a scholarly journal. In general, a scholarly journal article often:
Reports on original research or contains a new theoretical discussion
Is written by a credentialed expert in their field
Contains footnotes and/or a bibliography
Is written for an audience of students and scholars and uses specialized language
Is published by a professional organization
Contains little advertising
You can often tell if a journal is scholarly by its title. An example of a scholarly journal is The American Journal of Sports Medicine -- compared to the popular magazine Sports Illustrated.
The library database Ulrichsweb may be used to determine if a periodical is refereed. Many other library databases, such as Academic Search, index scholarly journals and allow you to limit your search results to only scholarly articles.
Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text contains more than 400,000 records selected from the most important sources within the discipline. Subject areas covered include: criminology; criminal justice; criminal law and procedure; corrections and prisons; police and policing; criminal investigation; forensic sciences and investigation; history of crime; substance abuse and addiction; probation and parole.
National Criminal Justice Reference Service has citations and abstracts to federal, state, and local government documents, books, research reports, journal articles, and unpublished research in the field of criminal justice. Some publications are available in full text.
PsycINFO is the core database for searching academic, research, and practice literature in psychology. Search the database for citations and summaries of psychology literature published in journals, books and dissertations. Also search here for psychological aspects of related fields such as medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, linguistics, anthropology, business, law and others. It includes over one million citations and summaries. 98% of the materials included here are peer reviewed.
The Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society (CCJLS) is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that builds on the mission of its predecessor, Western Criminology Review (WCR), by promoting understanding of the causes of crime; the methods used to prevent and control crime; the institutions, principles, and actors involved in the apprehension, prosecution, punishment, and reintegration of offenders; and the legal and political framework under which the justice system and its primary actors operate.
Criminal Justice Policy Review (CJPR) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal committed to the study of criminal justice policy through quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methodological approaches.