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Periodicals by Type: Home

Last Updated: Jan 28, 2021 10:45 AM

Periodicals by Type

For a complete listing of magazines, journals, and newspapers, and to determine if it is academic, scholarly or refereed, check out, Ulrichsweb: Global Serials Directory.

For information on how to locate an article, see Finding and Evaluating Research Materials.


Scholarly and Research Journals

Examples: American Anthropologist, Sociological Review, Child Development
Contents: Original research reports and substantial review articles; usually are peer-reviewed or refereed.
Language: Assume familiarity with the terminology of the discipline.
Authors: Scholars and Researchers.
Sources: Footnotes and references; often extensive documentation.
Publishers: Universities, research institutes, scholarly presses, and professional organizations.
Graphics: Graphs, charts and tables.
Advertising: The more general journals have selective advertising.
Access Tools: Specialized indexes (eg. PsycINFO, Physics Abstracts , MLA Bibliography, etc.) Ask a librarian for assistance in selecting the best one.


Professional and Trade Journals

Examples: RN, Restaurant Business, Automotive News
Contents: Articles on current trends and events in a field or industry. Often provide information about specific companies and industry/field statistics.
Language: Assume familiarity with the terminology of the industry.
Authors: Journalists with subject expertise.
Sources: Full documentation not always given.
Publishers: Professional associations or commercial publishers.
Graphics: Charts, tables, illustrations, and photographs.
Advertising: Ads related to the industry.
Access Tools: Business and specialized indexes (e.g. Business Source Complete).


Journals of Commentary and Opinion

Examples: Mother Jones, Commonweal, America
Contents: Commentary on current social and political issues. A given publication often reflects a certain bias.
Language: Written for a general educated audience.
Authors: Specialists, scholars, members of the sponsoring organization, or other interested parties.
Sources: Variable; full documentation not always given.
Publishers: Nonprofit organizations or commercial publishers.
Graphics: Variable.
Advertising: Variable.
Access Tools: General and some specialized indexes (e.g. Academic Search Premier).


Newspapers/ Magazines

Examples: Time, Newsweek, Business Week, New York Times
Contents: News articles on topics of general interest.
Language: Written for a general educated audience.
Authors: Staff or freelance journalists.
Sources: Sources not usually cited.
Publishers: Commercial publishers.
Graphics: Charts and photographs.
Advertising: Many ads.
Access Tools: General and newspaper indexes (e.g. Factiva).


Popular Magazines

Examples: Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Field and Stream
Contents: Articles on a wide range of topics, including sports, fashion, famous people, and entertainment. In general, articles are short and at a basic reading level.
Language: Written for a general audience in non-technical language.
Authors: Staff or freelance journalists.
Sources: Sources not usually cited.
Publishers: Commercial publishers.
Graphics: Many illustrations and photographs.
Advertising: Many ads.
Access Tools: General indexes (e.g. Readers' Guide , Factiva).


Sensational Publications

Examples: National Enquirer, Globe, Star
Contents: Sensational/outrageous articles written in a quasi- news journal style. For entertainment purposes only; validity is dubious at best.
Language: Written for a general audience in simple language.
Authors: Staff or freelance writers.
Sources: Sources rarely cited.
Publishers: Commercial publishers.
Graphics: Many photographs; may be retouched.
Advertising: Many ads.
Access Tools: Indexes not generally available.

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Cindy Ehlers
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