Literature Terminology

For your reports, you will need to incorporate a number of different types of sources. Make sure you understand the difference!

Watch this tutorial to learn about the peer-review process.

Examples of different types of literature:


Terminology review

(in this case, journal = 'scholarly journal' = 'academic journal' = 'research journal')

The main mode of communication by professionals in a field; this regular publication provides the venue where researchers share research, perspectives, and other scholarly communication.

Published every week, month, or every few months like a normal magazine.

Electronic journal
A journal that happens to be 'published' online. There is no difference between a journal that is published in print (like a normal magazine) and a journal that is published online.

The process by which original research submitted for publication in a journal is reviewed by other experts (peers) in a particular field. Research is checked by these other experts for data quality, methodology, and if the research is a unique contribution to knowledge in a particular field.

Peer-reviewed journal article
A journal article that has undergone peer-review.

Primary literature
(= 'professional literature' = 'research literature' = 'empirical study')

Another way to describe journal articles that provide the actual data collected, how it was collected, data analysis, and conclusions.

Literature review
(in addition to Literature Review articles, this is also often included in the "introduction" or "background" portions of empirical articles)

A scientific article could be a "literature review" summarizing, analyzing, synthesizing other scholars research.

When it is part of a research article, the literature review will also discuss how the research that is to be discussed helps to provide further knowledge on the subject.

Articles that are entirely literature reviews are especially useful when you don't know much about an topic, because they summarize what is known and not known.