Library databases contain many different periodicals, including newspapers, magazine articles, and journal articles. How can you tell if you have a found a more popular magazine article or a scholarly article? Many professors prefer (and may require) that you use scholarly articles in your research assignments.
|Popular Magazines||Scholarly Journals|
|Audience||General readers||Scholars, researchers, professors, students|
|Purpose||To inform, entertain, and update reader||To broaden existing knowledge of a subject and report on original research|
|Advertisements||Many ads of a wide variety||Few ads, usually specific to the field|
|Authors||Staff writers or free lance. Articles may be unsigned||Scholars/experts, credentials are usually given|
|Publisher||Commercial publishers||University presses, professional associations, some commercial publishers|
|Publication Schedule||Usually weekly or monthly||Publishes less often, commonly monthly or quarterly|
|Language||Easy to read||Technical jargon, often difficult to read|
|Focus||Broad subjects. Gives introductory information, general, opinions||Narrow treatment. Articles are research based and specialized|
|Appearance||More appealing, often glossy and containing many pictures||Less appealing. Contents are mostly text|
|Article Length||Usually short to medium||Usually lengthy, with small print size|
|Documentation||Very little||Extensive bibliographies and footnotes|
|Timeliness||Up-to-date||Timeliness not as important as thoroughness, originality, and in-depth coverage|
|Words in the Titles||No specific words in title. Titles may be cutesy or contain slang||Often contain the words Journal, Bulletin, Review, Research|
|Examples||Time, Newsweek, Psychology Today, Popular Science, New Yorker, Ebony, Forbes, Gourmet, Rolling Stone||American Journal of Nursing, Journal of Applied Psychology, Science, Journal of Popular Culture, Journal of Black Studies, Harvard Business Review|
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