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Lancaster County CTC

Popular vs. Trade vs. Scholarly Periodicals


Magazines: a type of popular periodical read mostly for entertainment value or to get quick news related information. Written for a very broad and diverse audience so as many people as possible can understand the information found within. (These are titles you can easily find in places like grocery stores, newsstands and book store news racks and are fairly inexpensive). Articles in magazines will rarely be long or include exhaustive details and bibliographic information. Examples of magazines include: Time, People, and Entertainment Weekly.

Trade Publications: (also called trade journals; professional journals; trade periodicals; or trade magazines): a periodical or magazine that contains articles relevant to a specific trade, industry, or profession. The focus is on current news, trends and issues. Unlike scholarly journals, they do not contain original research and are not usually peer reviewed. Examples of trade publications include: Cardiology Today; Nation’s Restaurant News; Industrial Engineer.

Scholarly Journals: often peer-reviewed periodical titles that are written almost exclusively for a specific audience (those actually in the field) and by experts wishing to share their own information/research to other experts in their field. These titles can rarely be found at stores by general audiences. They include mostly expansive articles with exhaustive research. citations, and bibliographic information. Example of scholarly journals include: Laboratory Medicine, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and Journal of Periodontology.

Scholarly Versus Popular Sources (HACC Video)