Answered By: Tom Reinsfelder
Last Updated: May 26, 2016     Views: 220

There are several main categories of periodicals. 


Popular Magazines - Often written by journalists or news reporters for a general audience. Magazines usually have many photographs and advertisements and cover a wide variety of topics.


Scholarly Journals - Often written by an expert in a very narrow field. Authors frequently work at a university and/or have an advanced degree such as a Ph.D in their field. Articles in scholarly journals are longer than magazine articles and usually focus on a very narrow topic. These articles frequently report the results of a scientific research study and often include a number of tables or graphs presenting data. You will almost always see a list of references to other research at the end of each scholarly journal article. 


Trade Publications - These publications fall in between popular magazines and scholarly journals. They look like a magazine, but the content is targeted to members of a particular industry or profession. For example, in the library profession we have a magazine called American Libraries.


See this Periodicals and Journals guide or see the file (Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals) below for a further explanation of these differences. 

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