A scholarly or peer-reviewed article has been written by an expert in the subject (ex., a professor or other researcher), and has been reviewed and approved by a group of other experts (their peers).
You can see an interactive diagram of a scholarly article, designed by the NC State Libraries, here.
Some tips for identifying scholarly articles:
- Most scholarly articles are published in academic journals or edited collections. Articles from magazines, trade journals, or newspapers are not scholarly.
- Scholarly articles will always include citations and a bibliography. Other articles generally include few or no citations, and will include only a brief bibliography or notes section if any at all.
- Not all resources with citations are scholarly (for example, Wikipedia is not).
- If you're not sure about a source, check for information like: the author's name/credentials; the publication it appears in or the publisher; or the intended audience.
- Book reviews and editorials are never scholarly, even when published in scholarly journals.