Description: Extra Credit Opportunity – 20 points
What: You are going to write a Journal Review on any psychological research topic (of your choice) from a
professional journal. You will turn in your review AND a hard copy of the journal article.
What’s a Journal Review? It is a summary and commentary on published research in a professional journal.
What is a profession journal article? A professional journal is a scientific journal in which researchers publish their
results. Sometimes they are also called “Peer Review” journals because a researcher will publish his/her research
and the larger scientific community will read the research and write a critique of it. To get your work published in a
professional journal is a mark of achievement and a sign that your research meets high scientific and academic
standards. The first sign is whether or not the research article has what is called an ABSTRACT – a short paragraph
summary at the beginning of the article which briefly explains the research and results. If your article doesn’t have
an ABSTRACT then chances are you are not looking at a professional journal.
Where can I find a professional journal? They are easy to find. Try any of the below:
1. Go to the APA website below (American Psychological Society) and you can browse the journals by title or
subject. Their website is http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/index.aspx
2. Use any search engine for professional journals – psychology
3. Use your VCU online library search tools; and if you need some help simply stop by the library and ask any of
the research assistants.
4. If you look in the back of your textbook, you’ll see a reference section for all the research used in the text, it
will give you the name of the author, title of research, date of publication, the journal name and even the
page number for their research. Enter that information in your search engine and it’ll take you right to the
article……and you may be able to obtain a free PDF of the article, especially if you use the VCU search tools.
Signs that a journal is NOT a professional journal. If your journal has any of the following, you should not use it:
Here’s a good website clarifying the difference: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/guides/spmaterials/
Advertisements are a clear sign it is not a professional journal.
- Easy to read, non‐specific; professional journals are not intended for the general public.
- Lack of statistical data; look for charts, graphs, and statistical data.
- Popular magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated
- Blogs and online chat rooms are NOT professional journals
- Psychology Today is NOT a professional journal