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Articles can be published in a scholarly journal, a trade journal, a popular magazine, or a newspaper or news magazine. Each type of publication has its own target audience and purpose.

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See our Types of Periodicals chart for details.

Articles in Scholarly Journals

  • Written by and for professionals or scholars
  • Articles have been peer-reviewed (approved by a reviewer who is knowledgeable in the subject area) before publication
  • Purpose is to report current research in a certain field
  • Examples: Nature, The Journal of Clinical Psychology, Modern Theology, IEEE Transactions
  • How do I determine if an article is scholarly or not?
    • Ulrich's Web is a good tool for this kind of information. It lists the type of publication for each periodical.
  • Where should I go to find scholarly articles?
    • Select and search bibliographic databases and/or printed indexes/abstracts that are related to your topic.
    • For articles published before the 1980s, printed indexes and abstracts are excellent tools. Ask a reference librarian if you need assistance.


Articles in Trade and Industry Journals

  • Publications are industry-specific
  • Some are peer-reviewed, but not all
  • Provide current information on products, companies, management, etc.
  • Some cite sources and include bibliographies
  • Articles are generally written by practitioners in the field or specialized journalists
  • Examples: Beverage World, HR Magazine
  • Where should I go to find trade & industry related articles?
    • This type of publication can be found in many different databases, such as Expanded Academic ASAP, Business Source Premier, etc.


Articles in Magazines

  • Written for general audience and lay people
  • Often have a slick and attractive look with many graphics
  • Rarely cite sources
  • Published commercially or by individuals
  • Usually contain many advertisement pages
  • Examples: New Yorker, National Geographic, Good Housekeeping
  • Where should I go to find this type of publication?
    • Many multidisciplinary bibliographic databases contain this type of publication, such as Expanded Academic ASAP, General Reference Center, etc.
    • Many articles published before the 1980s are not available in online databases yet. Go to printed indexes and abstracts, such as Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, to find old publications.


Articles in Newspapers and News Magazines

  • Articles are usually shorter in length
  • They cover the most current events or topics
  • Articles usually don't offer in-depth research and analysis, though they often summarize studies and findings from other sources
  • Aimed at general audiences
  • Examples: Boston Globe, New York Times, Newsweek, US News & World Report
  • Where should I go to find newspapers and news articles?
    • LexisNexis Academic is an excellent database for finding articles published in newspapers and news magazines. You can also search the papers directly through online services like Boston Globe, New York Times, etc.