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Types of Periodicals: Home

This guide will help you distinguish between the various types of periodical/serial publications that exist in the world.

Periodical Types

  Magazine Trade Journal
  • Entertainment;
  • General news;
  • Selling products and advertising;
  • Promoting a specific viewpoint.
  • Industry specific news;
  • Reporting trends and new directions (sometimes including original research).
  • Reporting original research and/or experimentation;
  • Offering new information for a specific academic discipline.
  • Short articles;
  • Easy to read;
  • For a general audience.
  • Some short and some longer articles;
  • Harder to read than popular publications, but still fairly easy to read;
  • Makes use of industry-specific vocabulary.
  • Long articles (with occasional exceptions);
  • Make use of discipline-specific vocabulary;
  • For scholars and students of that discipline.
  • Usually staff writers;
  • Qualifications usually not given;
  • May not be identified at all.
  • Mixture of authors, some staff writers, some academics, and some working professionals;
  • Credentials typically given
  • Experts in the field (usually academics);
  • Credentials will be listed;
  • Contact information usually given.
  • Sources/References Cited lists are almost never included;
  • In-text references (ex. “According to experts”) are usually all that is given.
  • Depending upon the subject, Sources/References Cited lists are sometimes given, sometimes not.

Sources are always cited:

  • Footnotes;
  • Endnotes;
  • Bibliography at end of article.
  • Glossy cover and pages;
  • Lots of photos and graphics;
  • Usually attractive and eye-catching.
  • Glossy cover and pages;
  • Lots of photos and graphics;
  • Usually attractive and eye-catching;
  • Will typically look like a magazine.
  • Typically dull covers and pages;
  • Few or no photos and graphics (depends on discipline);
  • May have identical cover design from issue to issue.
  • Many advertisements (sometimes more ads than articles);
  • Advertising a wide variety of unrelated products.
  • Many advertisements, usually (but not always) related to the topic of the periodical;
  • Sometimes advertising a wide variety of unrelated products.
  • Few or no advertisements;
  • Advertised products relate to the topic of the periodical.