you gather information from periodicals, consider what types of periodicals you
need to use for your research. Does your research assignment require that you
only use “scholarly” journals or is it OK to use “popular” magazines or
newspapers? If you are not sure, check with your instructor. Periodicals could be magazines, scholarly
journals, newspapers, trade publications, or publications of opinion. All of these types of periodicals serve
different purposes and contain different kinds of information.
We sort magazines from journals by looking at the intended audience. Popular sources (magazines, newspapers) are written so that non-experts can read them. Scholarly sources (journals) usually assume a background in the discipline or subject covered. The generalizations below can help you sort this out.
Popular Magazines: American Heritage, Business Week, Discover, Ebony, Esquire, Health, Jet, Ladies' Home Journal, MacWorld, New Age, New York Times, Newsweek, PC World, People, Prevention, Reader's Digest, Rolling Stone, Science News, Sports Illustrated, Time, Times Picayune, Vogue, Wall Street Journal
Scholarly Journals: Civil Rights Journal, European Journal of Soil Science, Families in Society, Journal of Singing, Journal of the American Medical Association, Knowledge Quest, Library Journal, Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law, Online, Spectrum, Techniques
Newspapers: Times-Picayune, USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal
When you find periodical articles online via Sims Memorial Library full-text periodical indexes or from the Web “at large,” many of the visual clues listed on the above list may not be there. Take extra care in evaluating online articles. If you are not sure if an online periodical article is scholarly or popular, check with your instructor or Ask a Librarian!