What is a Scholarly Journal? A Popular Magazine?
A Trade Journal?

Generally your professors will require that your research use articles from scholarly journals. Many indexes (especially the online databases) can contain references to scholarly journals, popular magazines, newspapers, and trade journals. How can you tell the difference? The features of different types of periodicals are listed below. If in doubt, ask your instructor or a librarian.

Types of Periodicals
Scholarly Journals
Popular Magazines
Newspapers
Trade and Industry Journals

 


Examples

  • Journal of Educational Research
  • American Historical Review
  • Social Psychology Quarterly
  • BioScience
  • Time
  • Newsweek
  • National Review
  • Atlantic
  • New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Mobile Register
  • Christian Science Monitor

 

  • Advertising Age
  • RN
  • Computer World
  • HRMagazine
  • Chronicle of Higher Education

 

 


Value
and
Uses

  • Reports of original research
  • In-depth analysis of topics
  • Refereed or
    peer-reviewed
  • Intended for academic audience
  • Lengthy articles
  • Academic level book reviews
  • Current events/hot topics
  • Commentaries on social/political issues
  • Shorter articles
  • Designed to attract broad segment of population
  • Primary source for analysis of popular culture
  • Book reviews
  • News stories
  • Local and regional focus
  • Editorials
  • Primary source for information on events

  • Current trends, news, products
    in a field
  • Provide information of use to a particular industry
  • Statistics, forecasts
    Organization, company information
  • Book and product reviews



Authors

  • Researchers
  • Academics
  • Professors
  • Scholars
  • Generally journalists
  • Freelance writers
  • Sometimes academics
  • Journalists
  • Practitioners in the field
  • Journalists with subject expertise

 

Sources

  • Extensive documentation
  • Footnotes
  • Bibliographies
  • Usually signed
  • Occasionally cite sources in text
  • Information attributed to a source, scant documentation
  • Occasionally cite sources in text

 


Language

  • Specialized language of discipline
  • More complex writing style
  • Title words like
    journal, quarterly, review

 

  • Non-technical language
  • Easy to understand
  • Non-technical language
  • Written for general audiences
  • Written for practitioners
  • Can use jargon and technical language extensively

 


Graphics

  • Charts
  • Formulas
  • Graphs
  • Serious appearance
  • Few advertisements
  • Many graphics
  • Photos
  • Full-page advertisements
  • Bright, attractive covers
  • Pictures
  • Charts
  • Many advertisements
  • Photographs
  • Graphs
  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Illustrations
  • Targeted advertising

 


Publisher

 

 

  • Universities
  • Scholarly presses
  • Academic/research organizations
  • Published monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually
  • Commercial publishers
  • Usually published weekly or monthly
  • Commercial publishers
  • Professional or trade associations
  • Frequency varies
  • Commercial publishers
  • Daily or weekly

 

Scholarly Journal Examples
(Click to view & compare) 
Popular Magazine Examples
(Click to view & compare) 
Trade Journal Examples
(Click to view & compare) 

Journal of Applied Physics

Latin American Perspectives

 

Animals Agenda

Newsweek

 

Advertising Age

Computer World

 

Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3
Lesson 4 Lesson 6 Module 7
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