IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges

Types of Periodicals

Scholarly Journals, Popular Magazines

Magazines and journals are called periodicals because they are issued on a regular or "periodic" basis – they might arrive daily, weekly, monthly, four times a year (quarterly), once a year (annually) or anything in between. Periodicals are usually separated into two major groups: popular and scholarly.

types of periodicals, which are also called serials. Starting at the left are popular magazines, then newspapers, trade publications and at the scholarly journals.

When you understand the differences between popular and scholarly periodicals you can focus your research to retrieve only the type of information you need.


After completing this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • List three or four characteristics of popular magazines.
  • List three or four characteristics of scholarly journals.
  • Identify which type of periodical is most appropriate for specific research questions.
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updated: 28 August, 2009