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Start Here: How do I pick the right materials for my research?

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Do you know the difference between a scholarly journal, a magazine, and a trade publication?

FROM: How to Do Research: In the Library and Beyond : A Guide for Students
by Marian Weston     

CRITERIA

MAGAZINES/NEWSPAPERS

TRADE JOURNALS/TRADE NEWSPAPERS

SCHOLARLY JOURNALS

 Also called:

 CONSUMER OR POPULAR MAGAZINES

 

PROFESSIONAL JOURNALS

ACADEMIC, REFEREED, OR PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS

Appearance



 

 

magazines: glitzy cover; glossy paper; lots of color photos & graphics

newspapers: newsprint; photos & graphics

 

many advertisements

 

 

industrial/ professional motif on cover


usually glossy paper but may be newsprint; may have color photos & graphics

ads aimed at those in industry or profession

 Current Issue - Jan 2015

plain cover

 

often plain paper; if illustrated, usually graphs & charts with little color

 
few, if any ads

 

Audience

general public

(often sold in stores & on newsstands)

members of specific industry or profession

scholars, researchers, students, professors

Content

usually short unsigned articles without bibliographies

 

written by magazine/newspaper staff or by freelance writers

 

 

short to medium length articles; rarely include bibliographies; may be signed; written by staff or contributing authors  involved in the industry or profession

industry information, news, products,  techniques, statistics; often job ads

long articles with abstracts at beginning & extensive footnotes & bibliographies; use language of the discipline; authors always indicated & are scholars/researchers in field

 
research projects including methodology and theory

 

Accountability

general editors of  magazine/newspaper review  articles

 

 

general editors of  journal review  articles; editors often have experience &/or education within  industry or profession

 

often published by trade association

articles reviewed by board of scholars in subject field before accepted for publication (hence, peer-reviewed); publication editors are usually scholars in field as well.

 

often published by  professional organization or university

 

Purpose

primarily to produce profit for publisher; also may be to sell ad products, entertain, promote point of view, provide information
 

provide news and information to people in specific industry or profession

report or inform on original research or experimentation

Other

each issue starts with page one

 

each issue starts with page one

continuous paging throughout issues of volume

 

Examples

Business Week, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Vogue, New York Times, Make

WWD (Women’s Wear Daily), Global Cosmetic Industry, Advertising Age, HFN

Fashion Theory, Journal of Marketing Research, Textile History


NOTES regarding the chart above: 
Within each category of periodical, there may be some variation.  For example, the popular or consumer magazines category includes both magazines with very short articles directed at the general public, such as People Magazine, and magazines with more substantial articles that are geared to a more specific and educated audience, such as The Economist, ArtNews, or Scientific American.  Also be aware that each periodical in a category may not have all of the characteristics listed for that category.

 

 

 

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