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Types of Periodicals

How can you tell if an article or journal is scholarly, professional, or something else?

Ulrich's Directory

You can check the journal's home page, or search Ulrich's Directory for an indication that the journal is peer reviewed. See a video tutorial on this!

  • Enter the journal name
  • Look for the black and white symbol indicating the journal is "refereed" , another way of saying "peer reviewed".

Connect to Ulrich's Directory

Types of Periodicals Chart

Scholarly, Academic, Peer-reviewed, Research
Contents: Scholarly/research articles describe primary research, using scientific methods such as statistical tests. Good for learning about the discourse of an academic discipline or area of science.
Sources: Scholarly/research articles often include literature reviews, summaries for research to be replicated, and full documentation (footnotes, reference lists, etc...)
Language: Scholarly/research articles use academic or technical terms, written for other scholars/researchers
Authors: Professionals in the field, professors, scientists
Published by: Universities, scholarly presses, research organizations
Graphics: Charts and graphs, formulas. Glossy ads are rare.
Where to search (Ask a Librarian for more info): Compendex and IEEExplore, Business Source Complete, CINAHL, PAIS, PsycInfo, Journals at Ovid
Examples: Cell

Journal of Marketing Research

Social Psychology Quarterly

 

Professional, Trade and Industry Journals
Contents: Current industry, product and company info, best practices, statistics, forecasts, interviews. Good for learning about trends.
Sources: Occasional brief bibliographies or sources cited in the text
Language: Written for practitioners, using extensive jargon of the profession
Authors: Practitioners in the field, or specialized journalists, PR writers
Published by: Commercial publishers, trade and professional associations
Graphics: Photographs, charts, tables, glossy ads
Where to search (Ask a Librarian for more info): Business Source Complete, ACM Digital Library, EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit), IEEEXplore
Examples:

Beverage World

ENR

HRMagazine

Variety

Pharmacy Times

 

Commentary and Opinion Magazines
Contents: Current views on social and political issues, opinionated, may be the voice of an activist organization, speeches, interviews. Good for getting opinions on issues.
Sources: Occasional brief bibliographies or sources cited in the text
Language: Written for a general educated audience
Authors: Extremely variable, some journalists, academics, government officials, pundits.
Published by: Commercial publishers, nonprofits
Graphics: Some advertising and graphics
Where to search (Ask a Librarian for more info): Academic OneFile, Business Source Complete
Examples: The Nation

National Review

The New Republic

 

Popular Magazines and Newspapers
Contents: Current events, industry and leading company information, short articles, interviews, good for up to date information
Sources: Rarely cite sources in full
Language: Written for a general audience
Authors: Specialized journalists
Published by: Commercial publishers
Graphics: Glossy ads, full color charts, pictures, tables
Where to search (Ask a Librarian for more info): Business Source Complete, Reader's Guide, Gale OneFile
Examples: Newsweek

The Economist

Boston Globe

Forbes

 

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