This video from University of Washington explains the features of a scholarly article
Conference paper -- example
A conference article is similar to a scholarly article insofar as it is academic. Naturally, you need to find a conference appropriate to your subject area where you can present the paper. One great thing about conference articles is that they are published more quickly than scholarly articles. You can get your research to your community much faster via conferences than journals. Many conference publications are peer-reviewed, especially in computer science. You can find conference papers in many of the same places as scholarly articles.
Review article -- example
A review article summarizes a particular field of study and places the recent research in context. It provides an overview and is an excellent introduction to a subject area. The references used in a review article are helpful as they lead to more in-depth research. You might want to write a review article to summarize progress in a field you've been working on.
There are several ways to search for a review article. Try using Inspec and selecting "general review" from the "all treatment types" drop down menu. In many databases you can simply type "review" into the title. This isn't always effective, however, as such a search retrieves extraneous information and misses a lot of relevant material. Other keywords you can use to search for a review article include: survey, overview, summary, etc. Some journals, like the Foundations and Trends series as well as Morgan and Claypool's Synthesis product, are devoted entirely to review articles.
Letter -- example
A letter is shorter than a scholarly article and does not present a full explanation of research the way a scholarly article does. It is usually an explanation of work that has been done, either a design or research, without all the data presented. You would write a letter if you just wanted to summarize your work in a brief document without presenting all your research. Letters are often used to get the word out quickly about research, and then followed up by complete journal articles. Many journals are devoted to letters alone, for example: IEEE Computer Architecture Letters and Electronic Letters on Computer Vision and Image Analysis.
Design paper/specification -- example
A design paper is a detailed description of a design that you plan to make or have made. It consists of an overview of what others have done and where your design fits in, a plan, and an explanation of technical requirements and solutions.
Searching for a design article can be tricky. They aren't labelled as "design articles," so it's nearly impossible to search just for them. However, in Inspec, if you limit your search to "practical" under "treatment" you'll be guaranteed to get some design papers.
Scholarly journals are also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals. Strictly speaking, peer-reviewed (also called refereed) journals refer only to those scholarly journals that submit articles to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published. A list of peer-reviewed/refereed journals is maintained in Ulrich's Periodical Directory.
Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article as shown below:
Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or exciting pictures. Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings.
Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article--universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like. The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some technical background on the part of the reader. The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.