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University at Buffalo Libraries

Periodicals by Type


For a complete listing of magazines, journals and newspapers and to determine if it is academic, scholarly or refereed check out, Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory.

For information on how to locate an article, see Finding and Evaluating Research Materials.


Scholarly and Research Journals

Examples: American Anthropologist, Sociological Review, Child Development
Contents: Original research reports and substantial review articles; usually are peer reviewed or refereed.
Language: Assume familiarity with the terminology of the discipline.
Authors: Scholars and Researchers.
Sources: Footnotes and references; often extensive documentation.
Publishers: Universities, research institutes, scholarly presses, and professional organizations.
Graphics: Graphs, charts and tables.
Advertising: The more general journals have selective advertising.
Access Tools: Specialized indexes (eg. PsycINFO, Physics Abstracts , MLA Bibliography, etc.) Ask a librarian for assistance in selecting the best one.


Professional and Trade Journals

Examples: RN, Restaurant Business, Automotive News
Contents: Articles on current trends and events in a field or industry. Often provide information about specific companies and industry/field statistics.
Language: Assume familiarity with the terminology of the industry.
Authors: Journalists with subject expertise.
Sources: Full documentation not always given.
Publishers: Professional associations or commercial publishers.
Graphics: Charts, tables, illustrations, and photographs.
Advertising: Ads related to the industry.
Access Tools: Business and specialized indexes (e.g. Business Source Complete).


Journals of Commentary and Opinion

Examples: Mother Jones, Commonweal, America
Contents: Commentary on current social and political issues. A given publication often reflects a certain bias.
Language: Written for a general educated audience.
Authors: Specialists, scholars, members of the sponsoring organization, or other interested parties.
Sources: Variable; full documentation not always given.
Publishers: Nonprofit organizations or commercial publishers.
Graphics: Variable.
Advertising: Variable.
Access Tools: General and some specialized indexes (e.g. Academic Search Premier).


Newspapers/ Magazines

Examples: Time, Newsweek, Business Week, New York Times
Contents: News articles on topics of general interest.
Language: Written for a general educated audience.
Authors: Staff or freelance journalists.
Sources: Sources not usually cited.
Publishers: Commercial publishers.
Graphics: Charts and photographs.
Advertising: Many ads.
Access Tools: General and newspaper indexes (e.g. Factiva).


Popular Magazines

Examples: Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Field and Stream
Contents: Articles on a wide range of topics, including sports, fashion, famous people, and entertainment. In general, articles are short and at a basic reading level.
Language: Written for a general audience in non-technical language.
Authors: Staff or freelance journalists.
Sources: Sources not usually cited.
Publishers: Commercial publishers.
Graphics: Many illustrations and photographs.
Advertising: Many ads.
Access Tools: General indexes (e.g. Readers' Guide , Factiva).


Sensational Publications

Examples: National Enquirer, Globe, Star
Contents: Sensational/outrageous articles written in a quasi-newsjournal style. For entertainment purposes only; validity is dubious at best.
Language: Written for a general audience in simple language.
Authors: Staff or freelance writers.
Sources: Sources rarely cited.
Publishers: Commercial publishers.
Graphics: Many photographs; may be retouched.
Advertising: Many ads.
Access Tools: Indexes not generally available.