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Beginning Research Tutorial

Periodicals are generally categorized as popular, trade, or scholarly. Examine the chart below to learn more about these categories of publications.
  Popular Trade Scholarly
Author Journalists, freelance writers, commentators, sometimes anonymous. Practitioners or specialists in field or industry or journalists with subject expertise Researchers,scientists,scholars.  Credentials listed
Audience General public    Specific industry, trade, organization, or profession; jargon often used Other scholars, professionals, or students familiar with the field
Purpose Inform, entertain Describe issues, problems, or trends in the field; product information, forecasts, statistics. Report and share original research, experiments, theories; contribute to the body of knowledge about a particular subject
Citations Sources may be cited or identified, but usually not or obscure Practices vary; some cite sources and some do not Authors cite their sources with in-text citations, in footnotes or bibliographies, often extensive
Peer-Review No. Editors look for grammar, errors, plagiarism No. Similar to popular magazines. Yes. Extensive peer-review process.
Abstract No No, but there might be a summary    Yes. Summarizing paragraph before the article with the authors goals, objectives, results, and analysis.
Publisher Commercial publisher    Commercial and trade publishers, professional associations Professional organizations, universities, research institutes, scholarly presses
Terminology Not technical, written for general audience, basic education Uses jargon of the field Uses technical vocabulary of the discipline; assumes college-educated reader with some knowledge of the subject
Examples Sports Illustrated; Newsweek; Rolling Stone, National Geographic RN, Advertising Age, Modern Machine Shop, Progressive Grocer Journal of Cultural Geography, Developmental Psychology, Renaissance Quarterly, Biochemistry