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The Research Process: A Step-By-Step Guide: 3c. Types of Periodicals

This guide walks you through the steps of the research process.

Comparing scholarly journals, popular, opinion, and trade magazines

Comparing scholarly journals, popular, opinion, and trade magazines

 

 JOP

 RestBus

 Nation

 Newsweek

 

 

Scholarly Journals print and online

Trade/ Professional Journals

VIEWPOINT/ OPINION MAGAZINES

GENERAL/ POPULAR MAGAZINES print and online

Length

Long

Medium to long

Medium to long

Short

Purpose/Content

Discusses a specific scholarly field; original research, in-depth studies, reviews of scholarly books; articles usually contain abstracts

Industry or field-specific news, product reviews, forecasts and trends, book reviews

Social and political commentaries, interviews, opinion pieces, book reviews

Current events, popular culture, interviews; broad coverage of topics, general interest items

Article Authors

Scholars, academics, researchers; authors are always named

Professionals, practitioners, some journalists

All types; academics, journalists, politicians; authors are often paid for their work

Usually journalists and free-lance writers; student, popular author; authors are not always named; most authors are paid for their work

Accountability/

Cited Works

A list of references is included at the end of each article

May include citations

May include citations

Articles rarely include references, bibliographies or lists of works cited

Appearance/

Graphics

May contain charts, graphs, or (in the sciences) photographs or illustrations that support the text

Photographs, illustrations, tables, and charts (often glossy)

May be heavily illustrated

Many eye-catching photographs and illustrations that have marketing appeal; usually glossy

Audience

Scholars, academics, researchers.

Members of a trade, profession, business, or industry

Educated readers

General public. Basic reading level for a general audience; broad and simple language, general topics, written to be understood by almost anyone

Language

Advanced reading level; may have specialized vocabulary; higher level language, serious tone, words used are specific to a discipline, written by experts

Technical jargon

Non-technical Language

Non-technical language

Indexing

Articles are listed in specialized databases and indexes; for example PsycINFO,

 

 

Articles are listed in general databases and indexes; for example Reader’s guide, Periodicals Index

Publisher

Academic presses, scholarly associations

Trade associations

Non-profit organizations or commercial publishers

Commercial publishers

Access

Generally sent to subscribing university libraries, labs or offices

Generally sent to office of subscribers

Generally sent to subscribers or sold on newstands

Sold on newsstands or sent to homes of subscribers

Advertising

Very little or highly specialized; usually from academic publishers or scholarly associations

May include glossy ads

Often have glossy ads

Many full-color glossy ads for consumer products

Review Policy

Articles are viewed by peers; experts in the field. Editorial board is composed of scholars in the field

 

 

Editor or editorial board are members of the magazine’s staff

 

 AJN

 HotelMotel

 NatlRev

 PscyToday

 

Chart design inspired by many library charts including Colorado State University Libraries and Springfield Township Virtual Library.

Subject Guide

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Lynda Kennedy
Contact:
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College of Coastal Georgia

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