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Please see this Guide to Modified Services for Fall 2020

Types of Journals

What type of journal is it?

With the plethora of information available, it is sometimes difficult to know where to look for scholarly information. Knowing the type of journal you are looking at can sometimes help to determine the type of information you will find located within that journal. This page covers the basic differences between scholarly, trade, and popular journals.

Scholarly Journal or Trade Publication or Popular Magazine

    SCHOLARLY JOURNAL TRADE PUBLICATION POPULAR MAGAZINE
  Appearance  
  • Plain cover
  • Plain paper
  • Primarily Black & White
  • Graphs / Charts / Tables
  • Few photographs
  • Few or no advertisements
  • Longer length articles
  • Cover depicts industry
  • Glossy paper
  • Pictures in color
  • Trade-related ads
  • Moderate article length
  • Flashy cover
  • Glossy paper
  • Pictures in color
  • Colorful product ads
  • Short articles
  Audience
  • Academic / Professional
  • Professors
  • Researchers
  • Students   
  • Industry members
  • Professionals in the field
  • General public
  • Non-professionals
  Authors
  • Experts in the field
  • Credentials given
  • Industry specialist
  • Staff writer
  • Authors named
  • Credentials may be given
  • Journalist
  • Staff writer
  • Freelance writer
  • Credentials rarely given
  Content
  • Research projects
  • Methodology
  • Theory   
  • Industry trends
  • Industry products
  • Industry techniques
  • Organizational news
  • Personalities
  • News
  • Opinions
  • General interest
  Language
  • Discipline-specific jargon
  • Title - "Journal," "Bulletin," or "Review"
  • Industry jargon
  • Title includes industry name
  • General audience reading level
  Publishers
  • Professional organizations
  • Scholarly organizations
  • University press
  • Trade organizations   
  • Commercial, for-profit organizations
  References  
  • Includes bibliography
  • Includes references
  • Includes notes
  • Includes works cited
  • May include bibliography
  • Rarely cited sources

Determining the type of journal

To review the types of journals available in the library, watch the following video tutorial.