What is a Scholarly Article or Book?
A scholarly article or book generally is based on original research or experimentation. It is written by a researcher or expert in the field who is often affiliated with a college or university. Most scholarly writing includes footnotes and/or a bibliography and may include graphs or charts as illustrations as opposed to glossy pictures. In addition, articles that appear in scholarly journals or book that are published by academic presses, are subject to a peer-review process, which means that other "experts" or specialist in the field evaluate the quality and originality of the research as precondition of publication.
The peer-review (as opposed to editorial review) process is also one thing that sets scholarly journals apart from journals that may otherwise seem quite similar. Journals such as Foreign Affairs, for instance, are generally not considered "scholarly journals," because many of the articles are solicited by the magazine's editors; in addition many of the articles are written by policy-makers who may be expressing an informed view, but whose article may not be based on original research.