Types Of Periodicals

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

Check Ulrich's

You can check the journal's home page, or search Ulrichs:

  • Enter the journal name
  • Look for the black and white symbol indicating the journal is "refereed."

Connect to Ulrichs Directory

More about types of periodicals

Scholarly, Academic, Peer-reviewed, Research
Contents: Scholarly/research articles describe primary research, using scientific methods such as statistical tests.
Sources: Scholarly/research articles include summaries of existing research, and are fully documented (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, Business Source Premier, CINAHL, PAIS, PsycInfo, NU Journals at Ovid
Examples: Cell
Journal of Marketing Research
Social Psychology Quarterly

Professional, Trade and Industry Journals
Contents: Current industry, product and company info, management trends, new products, statistics, forecasts, interviews
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 Premier, ACM Digital Library, EIU Country Intelligence, IEEEXplore, Lexis-Nexis Academic

Beverage World
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
Sources: Occasional brief bibliographies or sources cited in the text
Language: Written for a general educated audience
Authors: Extremely variable, some journalists, academics, pundits of all sorts
Published by: Commercial publishers, nonprofits
Graphics: Some advertising and graphics
Where to search (Ask a Librarian for more info): General ReferenceFile, PAIS, Lexis-Nexis
Examples: The Nation
National Review
The New Republic

Popular Magazines and Newspapers
Contents: Current events, industry and leading company information, short articles, not much depth, interviews
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): General BusinessFile, Lexis-Nexis, Health Reference Center
Examples: Newsweek
The Economist
Boston Globe

Searching Ulrichsweb for your journal will also tell you if it is peer-reviewed

  • Ulrichs Web (Current NU plus alumni)
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    Lists all journals, print and electronic, with publisher information, subscription prices, subject descriptions, web locations, and much more.
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