Periodical Type Chart

Use this chart to determine what type of periodical you are looking at. Not all periodicals of a type will fit all catagories the same. Check out the resources on the right to narrow your search to a periodical type.
  Scholarly Trade Popular News
Example Journal of Power Sources American Management Association Quarterly People Forbes
Cover/ Table of contents Scholarly journal’s cover and pages are usually plain in design.
Journal title may include terms such as "journal," "review," or "bulletin"
Contents sometimes listed on cover.
Relevant content or images on cover.
Slick and attractive in appearance, printed on glossy paper Slick and attractive in appearance, printed on glossy paper
Articles Authors always cite their sources using footnotes and/or a bibliography
use specific terminology, required by the field of knowledge they represent
Articles may include these sections: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and bibliography
Keeps professionals informed of what is happening in an industry
Industry related news, product reviews, statistics, upcoming events
References to sources might be included, but no abstracts
accompanied with lots of photographs and eye-catching graphics
rarely, if ever, cite their sources. They publish second- or third-hand information, without clearly stating the primary source
language without specific terminology and are intended for general audience. They are designed to entertain, promote a viewpoint, or sell a product
cover current and local events in a more timely manner
Primary sources cited in text as interviews and quotes
use simple language without specific terminology and are intended for general audience
Author information and affiliation Articles are written by an expert in the field
Authors use facts more than bias
Peer review*: reviewed by peers for accuracy prior to publication
Authors are professionals in the field
Articles are reviewed by the employees of the publication
Authors may be biased toward the industry ideals
Editors on staff
Authors are not always listed; credibility of information may not be substantiated
Authors may be biased by publication
Editors on staff
Staff authors or reporters
Authors may be biased by publication
Advertisements Very few
Relevant to discipline
Glossy color photographs (illustrations)
industry specific advertisements
eye-catching graphics
not topical to content
eye-catching graphics
not topical to content
could be local to source origin
Pagination Pages are consecutive throughout each volume Varies, leaning more often to consecutive through volume Each issue starts with page 1 Each issue starts with page 1
Publication Information Many published by specific professional organizations
published less often, (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually)
Is published by a professional association
published less often, (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually)
published more often (monthly, weekly, daily)
Published by corporation or media outlet
published more often (monthly, weekly, daily)
Published by corporation or media outlet

How do I find them?

Many of the Library’s subscriptions have an option to limit your search to scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals. These include:

 

 

Peer review*

Peer review is a process some scholarly articles go through. All peer reviewed articles are scholarly, but not all scholarly are peer reviewed. For more information on the peer review process watch this:

More Information about this Topic

UC-Berkeley Library Tutorial (opens a 5-minute streaming video presentation)

University of Washington Libraries "Popular, Scholarly, and Trade Communication" (part of the Research 101 tutorial; includes interactive exercises)

Last updated December 2020