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Find Articles: Periodical Types

A guide to finding articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Popular vs. Trade vs. Scholarly

  Popular Magazines and Newspapers Trade, Professional, Industry Periodicals Scholarly, Academic, Peer-Reviewed, Refereed Journals
Periodical Titles May have popular words in the title:
People Weekly, TV Guide, Time, Rolling Stone
Titles tend to be short and practical:
Metal Construction News, Beverage World, American Libraries, Interior Design
May have bulletin, journal, or review in the title, but not always:
Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Annual Review of Nursing Research, Explicator
Article Titles Popular or catchy Tend to be straightforward; some could be popular and catchy Related to research question or results; often long and serious
Author(s) Often one author; staff-written or written by journalists, freelance authors, or guest contributors Often one author; staff-written or written by freelance authors, guest contributors, or professionals in the field Frequently multiple coauthors; scholars and researchers in the field, discipline, or specialty; authors will have university affiliations or professional titles listed
Frequency of Publication Issued frequently:
daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly
Issued frequently:
weekly, biweekly, or monthly
Issued less frequently:
monthly, quarterly, or semiannually
Accountability
(not listed)
Articles are evaluated by editorial staff who are not experts in the field; edited for format and style Articles evaluated by editors who may be experts in the field; edited for format and style; not peer-reviewed Articles are evaluated or reviewed by experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style

*Viewing database articles in PDF format will give you better visual clues as to what type of article you have found.

References:
Teaching Information Literacy 2nd ed.
by Burkhardt and MacDonald

Defining Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Sources (LibGuide), Elihu Burritt Library, Central Connecticut State Univ.

  Popular Magazines and Newspapers Trade, Professional, Industry Periodicals Scholarly, Academic, Peer-Reviewed, Refereed Journals
Abstract No abstract. No abstract.

Articles will typically have an abstract at the beginning that summarizes the findings of the research presented in the article

NOTE: Not all journals will label the beginning summary with the word ABSTRACT.

Audience & Writing Style Written for general, nonexpert readers; uses simple language Written for workers in a particular industry, professionals, members of a certain trade; language assumes a certain level of specialized knowledge Written for scholars and researchers in the field; language contains terminology and jargon of the discipline; reader is assumed to have a scholarly background
Purpose Entertainment and general interest; geared to sell products and services through advertising Examines problems or concerns in a particular profession or industry; provides specialized information to a wide, interested audience To inform, report, or make available original research or experimentation in a specific field or discipline to the rest of the scholarly world; where "new knowledge" is reported
References Sources are not cited. There will not be a list of references at the end Sources are typically not cited, but you may find some exceptions References or sources are listed in the form of bibliographies, reference lists, and footnotes. Look at the end of the article for the reference list or bibliography
Length Short articles Short articles Longer articles (3 - 20 pages or more)

*Viewing database articles in PDF format will give you better visual clues as to what type of article you have found.

  Popular Magazines and Newspapers Trade, Professional, Industry Periodicals Scholarly, Academic, Peer-Reviewed, Refereed Journals
Illustrations, Layout Eye-catching covers, glossy paper, photos, illustrations, cartoons, sidebars Eye-catching covers, glossy paper, photos, illustrations, cartoons, sidebars Plain covers, usually plain matte paper; articles are mostly text, but may have charts, graphs, tables, etc.; very few or no illustrations
Advertising Many ads for products and services Many ads for products and services related to a particular profession, trade, or industry Few or no ads
Availability Magazine racks in stores, or newsstands Usually requires a subscription or access through a library; rarely found in stores or newsstands Requires a subscription or library access
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Popular Example

Cover image of Mother Earth News

Trade Example

Cover image of National Defense

Scholarly Example

Cover image of AJOT
‚ÄčThe American Journal of Occupational Therapy