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Periodical Types

There are basically three different types of periodicals--
  • Scholarly/Research Journals
  • Trade/Professional Magazines
  • Popular Magazines
Each has a purpose. Here is a chart to help you to distinguish among them. It was originally created by my colleague Judith Faust, who last revised it in 2006.

Scholarly/Research Journals Trade/Professional Magazines Popular Magazines
Uses * articles on original research
* in-depth analysis
* long articles
* longer book review of scholarly books
* attached bibliographies for additional sources
* trends in an industry, trade, or profession
* company information
* new products, techniques in a field
* statistics, charts
* news, current events
* general interest
* shorter articles
* popular culture
* short book reviews of popular books
Audience researchers, scholars, students with some background in a field members of a specific industry, profession, association general public
Language specialized vocabulary of the subject technical or jargon of the industry or profession everyday language, non-technical
Authors * experts, researchers in a field
* scholars, academics
* professionals
* subject-specialist staff writers
* guest writers
* journalists, reporters
* staff writers
Content articles reviewed by scholars or editors articles reviewed by editors articles reviewed by editors
Approval experts (peer-reviewed/refereed) on staff on staff
Publishers * university, scholarly presses
* research organizations
* some professional associations
* industry/trade groups
* professional associations
* commercial publishers
Sources of information * sources fully credited
* bibliographies, references
* sources credited, not always fully * sources rarely credited
graphics/appearance *mostly black & white with tables, graphs, charts (although that is changing)
* plain, serious look
* few ads
* color illustrations
* glossy paper
* ads targeted to the trade or profession
* color illustrations
* glossy paper
* many color ads
frequency usually monthly or quarterly usually weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly usually weekly or monthly
examples * Journal of Business Ethics
* Shakespeare Quarterly
* Behavioral Neuroscience
* New England Journal of Medicine
* Philosophy East & West
* CPA Journal
* Mathematics Teacher
* Library Journal
* HR Magazine
* Athletic Management
* Newsweek
* Time
* Sports Illustrated
* People Magazine
* Gournet Magazine

copyright Aline Soules 2011
under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States