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How To Tell What Types of Periodical It Is
This table lists the criteria that can be used to distinguish among popular magazines, trade publications, professional journals, and scholarly journals. Some periodicals may not meet all of the criteria in a category but should be evaluated on the major characteristics such as content and accountability .
|CRITERIA||POPULAR MAGAZINES||TRADE PUBLICATIONS||PROFESSIONAL JOURNALS||SCHOLARLY JOURNALS|
|APPEARENCE||eye-catching cover||cover often trade related||glossy cover, often trade related||plain cover, often with table of contents|
|glossy paper||glossy paper||glossy paper||often matte finish paper|
|color graphics||color graphics||color graphics||black/white graphics unless color is essential|
|each issue starts with pg. 1||usually each issue starts with a pg. 1||usually each issue continues pagination from previous issue||each issue continues pagination from previous issue|
|AUDIENCE||nonprofessionals||members of a specific business, trade, industry, profession, or organization||members of a specific profession||researchers and professionals|
|LANGUAGE||Non-technical, usually at a fifth to tenth grade reading level||Uses jargon of the trade and some technical language, but readable by most people||Uses jargon and technical language appropriate to the profession||Uses highly technical language appropriate to the field|
|CONTENT||personalities, news, and general interest articles||brief newsy articles on industry trends, new product announcements, new techniques, and organizational news||articles focus on application of research in the profession; are more in-depth; may include a few research articles||research projects, theory, and methodology|
|articles written by staff or free lance writers with no specific background in the subject||articles written by staff with background in that field or by individuals currently working in that field||articles written by professionals, often with advanced degrees||original research findings presented by scholars, researchers or subject specialists in that field|
|ACCOUNTABILITY||editorial review||reviewed by editor or staff with background in the field||members of editorial board are professionals in the field;||usually, but not always peer reviewed/refereed*|
|no bibliographies||in-text references to sources, but no bibliographies||may be peer reviewed/refereed*||includes detailed bibliographic citations|
|includes bibliographic citations;some may be detailed|
|ADVERTISING||heavy||moderate||moderate||few, professionally related or none|
|all or most are trade related||professionally related|
|EXAMPLES||Sports Illustrated||American Nurse||American Journal of Nursing||Clinical Imaging|
|Ebony||AARC Times||JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association||Journal of Pediatric Nursing|
|Time||Chronicle of Higher Education||Applied Radiology||American Journal of Health Behavior|
* Peer Reviewed/Refereed
Peer Review refers to the policy of having experts in the field examine journal articles before they are accepted for publication. Peer review insures that the research described in a journal’s articles is sound and of high quality. Whether or not articles must undergo peer review is an editorial decision of the publication. Do not assume that because an article presents scholarly research that it is peer reviewed. Be sure to check the requirements for publication in that journal.
Sometimes the term refereed is used instead of peer review.