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Types of Periodicals  

Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria
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Types of Periodicals

SKILL GUIDE NUMBER 6: TYPES OF PERIODICALS

Types of Periodicals
Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria

 


Introduction
Journals and magazines, collectively referred to as periodicals, are important sources of up-to-date information in all disciplines. In the future you may need to read a particular type of periodical known as a scholarly or research-oriented journal. This guide is designed to help you distinguish between a scholarly journal and other types of periodicals.
Periodical Classification
There are four broad categories of periodicals: 1) scholarly or research-oriented, 2) professional, trade, or industry, 3) news or opinion, and 4) popular. Use the information below to help you distinguish between a scholarly journal and other types of periodicals.
If In Doubt
A periodical may not be clearly within one of the four categories outlined above. If in doubt, see Magazine for Libraries (Ref. Z6941.M23). Use the title index at the back to locate your periodical. Another option is Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. This is an online resource available to WIU users. Only one person may log in at a time, so please log out when you finish.
 

Scholarly and Research Journals

 

Professional, Trade and Industry

 

News or Commentary

 

Popular

 

Intent

To report original research; provide in-depth analysis

To report current trends, news, and events in a particular field, focusing on product, company and biographical information

To report or comment on current events in all areas; often hard to distinguish between fact and opinion

To entertain and inform

 

Authors

Researchers, professors, scholars; author's credentials noted

Journalists; author's credentials infrequently noted

Journalists; author's credentials rarely noted

Journalists; author's credentials rarely noted

Audience

College educated or equivalent; assumes background knowledge

Practitioners in the field

General population

General population

Sources

Footnotes and bibliographies present

Sources rarely cited, usually noted within article rather than in notes

Sources rarely cited, usually noted within article rather than in notes

Sources rarely cited

Advertisement

Ads are rarely present

Ads relate to the profession/industry

Advertises any and all products

Advertises any and all products

Publisher

Professional organizations

Commercial/trade publisher or professional organization

Commercial publisher

Commercial publisher

Examples

Psychological Bulletin, New Journal of Medicine, Econometrica

Beverage World, RN, Library Journal

Time, Sports Illustrated, New Republic, Sierra, Psychology Today

People Weekly, Reader's Digest, Redbook, Self

Description

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