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 Tutorial: Scholarly or Popular?

When conducting research it is important to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles. Journal articles are typically referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are usually considered "popular". A third category, "trade" magazines or journals, are written for professionals in a particular field but are not strictly research related. Below are some factors you can use when differentiating between journals and magazines.


Criteria Scholarly Journal Popular Magazine Trade Magazine/Journal
Sample Cover Cover of The Veterinary Journal Cover of Dog World Cover of Veterinary Economics
Audience Academics and professionals General public People in the business
Authors Experts or specialists (PhD). Unpaid. Journalists, staff writers, or freelance writers. Paid. Staff writers, industry specialists, or vendor representatives. Paid.
Editorial Review Journal editorial board and peer reviewers. Unpaid. Professional editors. Paid. Professional editors. Paid.
References / Works Cited Almost always Rarely Sometimes
Example Journal The Veterinary Journal Dog World Veterinary Economics
Example Article Title "Use of rumination and activity data as health status and performance indicators in beef cattle during the early fattening period" "Picky Eaters: Creative ways to entice your finicky dog at mealtime" "Are veterinary hospitals using forward booking?"


Modified from: Understanding Scholarly Sources by NCSU Libraries