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IN151 - CWRR II - Gilpin: Evaluating Periodicals

Research resources and techniques for Professor Gilpin's IN151 class

Magazine or Journal?

Use these criteria to help you determine the type of periodical that you are using. 

Remember to look carefully at each of the listed criteria, and do not base your decision on only one or two categories. Some characteristics overlap between types of publications, and you may need to prioritize according to importance or prominence.

Quick Tips for Evaluating Periodicals

Use these criteria to help you determine the type of periodical that you are using. Remember to look carefully at each of the listed criteria, and do not base your decision on only one or two categories. Some characteristics overlap between types of publications, and you may need to prioritize according to importance or prominence.

Periodical Type

Scholarly Journals
also known as Academic, Peer-Reviewed, or Refereed

Professional and Trade Periodicals

 Popular & Special Interest Magazines

Newspapers

CRITERIA

cover of scholarly journal

cover of trade journal

cover of magazine

image of newspaper

PURPOSE

  • To inform, report, or make available original research.
  • In-depth analysis of issues related to the discipline.
  • Includes information on conferences.
  • Discusses current trends, news & products in a specific field. 
  • Includes employment & career information.
  • Designed to inform, entertain, or persuade.
  • Short articles deal with news, current events, or hot topics.
  • Quickly updated.  Designed to inform, entertain, or explain.
  • Short articles deal with news, current events, or hot topics.

FORMAT

  • Lengthy articles with abstracts, methods, results, conclusions, and bibliography.
  • May be published quarterly.
  • Articles medium in length.
  • May include statistics and forecasts.
  • Often published monthly.
  • Articles usually fairly short.
  • Published monthly or weekly.
  • Articles usually fairly short.
  • New articles may build on previous articles.
  • Published daily or weekly. 

AUTHORS

  • Scholars, professors, or researchers in the field, discipline, or specialty.
  • May be written by staff, a scholar, professional in the field, or a free-lance writer who has subject expertise.
  • Written by the publication's staff or free-lance writers.
  • May be written by the publication's staff, newswires, free-lance writers, or syndicated columns.

LANGUAGE/
AUDIENCE

  • Use terminology/jargon of the discipline.
  • Reader is assumed to have a scholarly background.
  • Written by experts for experts.
  • Language appropriate for an educated readership and assumes a certain level of specialized knowledge.
  • Written for practitioners.
  • Uses simple language in order to meet minimum education level.
  • Written for a general audience.
  • Uses simple language in order to meet minimum education level.
  • Written for a general audience.

GRAPHICS

  • Graphics and charts to illustrate articles, but seldom glossy pages, pictures, or advertisements.
  • Includes photographs, illustrations, charts, and tables to enhance the publication.
  • Sometimes glossy advertisements.
  • Photographs, illustrations, drawings, charts, and many glossy advertisements.
  • Photographs, illustrations, drawings, and charts. 
  • News divided into different sections as dictated by the editors. 
  • Printed on inexpensive paper, with many advertisements.

SOURCES

  • Sources cited with footnotes and bibliographies.
  • Occasionally cite sources.
  • Sources sometimes cited in the text.
  • Rarely cites any sources.
  • Original sources can be obscure.
  • Occasionally cite sources, although many sources are interviews.
  • Original sources can be obscure.