Scholarly journals are periodicals in which researchers publish articles on their work. Most often these articles discuss recent research. Journals also publish theoretical discussions and articles that critically review already published work.
Scholarly journals are typically peer-reviewed journals. Some search engines that search for periodical sources identify whether or not the sources are from peer-reviewed publications, so look for that information when you do searches.
Getting research published in peer-reviewed (also called “refereed”) scholarly journals usually involves three or four steps.
First, the researcher must submit an article manuscript for consideration.
Second, the journal editors will send the submission to other scholars who do similar work and who are qualified to review the article. Generally, editors will send submissions to be reviewed by three other scholars.
Third, editors will evaluate the reviews and decide whether to reject or accept the submission. Usually, the response is either a rejection or an acceptance contingent on the author making revisions.
If the author is asked to make revisions, they must then complete the fourth step, which is to resubmit the article for another round of reviews. Sometimes the article is accepted at this point and other times authors are asked to make further revisions. The process is meant to make sure that only the best, most clearly written and rigorously researched articles are published.
Image by: Institute of Physics (IOP)