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 Identifying Types of Publications

This chart will help you determine the differences between the types of print magazines and journals. You must remember that there are many reasons to use a particular article in a publication. This chart merely aids in determining what type you are using.



Scholarly and Research Journals

Professional and Trade Journals

Newspapers/ Magazines

Popular Magazines


American Anthropologist, Sociological Review, Child Development

RN, Restaurant Business, Automotive News

Time, Newsweek, Business Week, New York Times

Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Field and Stream


Articles on current trends and events in a field or industry. Often provide information about specific companies and industry/field statistics.

Commentary on current social and political issues. A given publication often reflects a certain bias.

Articles on a wide range of topics, including sports, fashion, famous people, and entertainment. In general, articles are short and at a basic reading level.

Sensational/outrageous articles written in a quasi-newsjournal style. For entertainment purposes only; validity is dubious at best.


Assume familiarity with the terminology of the discipline.

Assume familiarity with the terminology of the industry.

Written for a general educated audience.

Written for a general audience in non-technical language.


Scholars and Researchers.

Journalists with subject expertise.

Staff or freelance journalists.

Staff or freelance journalists.


Footnotes and references; often extensive documentation.

Full documentation not always given.

Sources not usually cited.

Sources not usually cited.


Universities, research institutes, scholarly presses, and professional organizations.

Professional associations or commercial publishers.

Commercial publishers.

Commercial publishers.


Graphs, charts and tables.

Charts, tables, illustrations, and photographs.

Charts and photographs.

Many illustrations and photographs.


The more general journals have selective advertising.

Ads related to the industry.

Many ads.

Many ads.


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