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History Seminar Research Paper Guide: Types of Periodicals

Types of Periodicals

When conducting research it is important to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles. Journal articles are typically referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are usually considered "popular". A third category, "trade" magazines or journals, are written for professionals in a particular field but are not strictly research related.

  1. Scholarly or Professional Journals (aka Peer-Reviewed): contain articles published by scholars or experts in a specific field. Usually based on original research, they are peer-reviewed (or refereed), meaning they are read and approved by other scholars before being published. They include author credentials, abstracts, and bibliographies.
  2. Popular Magazines: contain current events, news, and general interest articles for the general public. They are written primarily to inform and entertain. (Examples: Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone)
  3. Trade Publications: fall somewhere in between scholarly and popular periodicals and cover a particular trade or industry. Authors are usually specialists in an industry who write to give practical information to people in their field. 

Academic Journals

Also known as scholarlyrefereed, or peer-reviewed journals.

Appearance: Generally have a sober, serious look. May contain graphs and charts, but few glossy pages or photographs. Use scholarly language with vocabulary specific to their profession or field.

Audience: Written for academics and professionals.

Author/Authority: Articles written by researchers or scholars in the field who report the results of original research.

Citations: Articles include footnotes and a list of citations at the end of the article.

Content: Includes scholarly research for a particular profession or industry. Articles usually contain an abstract, methodology, discussion, charts or tables, results, conclusions, and references.

Frequency: Usually published bimonthly or quarterly.

Examples:

Newspapers

·      Appearance: Generally printed on newsprint in black ink.

·      Audience: Written for the general public.

·      Author/Authority: Articles written by staff writers and freelance journalists.

·      Citations: Will sometimes cite sources, a scholar, or a freelance writer.

·      Content: Includes current events and special features.

·      Frequency: Usually published daily or weekly.   

Examples:

 

 

General interest magazines

Appearance: Generally attractive and illustrated with color photographs.

Audience: Written for the general public.

Author/Authority: Articles written by staff or freelance writer.

Content: Includes current events and special features.

Frequency: Usually published weekly or monthly.

Examples:

 

 

Trade Magazines

Also known as industry magazines.

Appearance: Generally attractive and are often illustrated with color photographs.

Audience: Written for industry professionals.

Author/Authority: Articles written by staff writers, though the magazine may sometimes accept articles from industry professionals.

Citations: Occasionally list references at the end of the article or provide footnotes within the text.

Content: Includes current events and special features within a particular profession or industry.

Frequency: Usually published biweekly or monthly.

Example: