Looking at several aspects of the article can help you determine if it's scholarly/academic.
What are the author's credentials? Do they have an advanced degree? Are they a researcher/professor in the subject matter the article is about?
If the author is a journalist or writer, they are probably writing for a more general audience rather than for scholars.
What does the journal specialize in, and what is it's audience? Scholarly journals often specialize in a specific research topic or range of topics, and their audiences are other scholars and students rather than the general public. However, some scholarly journals have very broad scopes; Science, for example, is a prestigious journal that publishes research in all areas of science.
Examples of scholarly/academic journals: Science, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, Augustinian Studies, MIT Sloan Management Review. You should be able to find information about the scholarly journal on its website. It should have information about what it publishes, often called "Aims & Scope," and about its peer review.
How are the sources cited?
How specialized is the topic, and how is the article laid out?
Want a second opinion? Feel free to ask a Librarian at the Reference Desk.
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If the full text of an article is not available in the database, here are tips for getting it elsewhere: