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Periodicals provide a wide variety of information in various types of publications. Research studies and reports often appear in periodicals long before they are published in books. All types of periodicals may be useful for different purposes. You should first determine the type of information that you need for your research and then select the most appropriate publications to find that material.

Newspapers & Popular Magazines

  • Written by journalists. Articles are often unsigned.
  • Aimed at a general audience; often to entertain as well as inform.
  • Articles cover current events, personalities, and other topics of general interest.
  • Articles usually do not provide references such as a bibliography or citations.
  • Not scholarly



Scholarly Journals

  • Written by scholars and experts in the field.
  • Aimed at professors, scholars, students and others in the academic community.
  • Often include reports of original studies and research.
  • "Refereed" or "peer-reviewed" meaning articles have gone through a critical selection process by scholars in the field.
  • Articles include citations and references.
  • Often include an introductory abstract or summary.



Opinion Magazines

  • Written by journalists, pundits, and freelance writers.
  • Fall in between popular magazines and scholarly journals.
  • Express opinions or viewpoints on cultural or political issues.
  • Aimed at an educated audience but not necessarily scholars.



Trade Journals

  • Written by technicians, engineers and practioners in the field.
  • Written for members of a trade, profession or industry.
  • Useful for industry or field-specific news, product reviews, forecasts and trends.

Web sites are important sources of information that must also be evaluated. . .

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