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Environmental Engineering Seminar

Popular vs. Trade Journal vs. Peer Reviewed Scholarly Journal

Popular Magazines vs. Trade Magazines
vs. Scholarly Journals

The following is a list of General Criteria that can be used to distinguish between popular magazines, trade magazines, and scholarly journals. Some journals do not meet all the criteria in one category. For example, Scientific American, which has glossy pages and color pictures, contains both scholarly articles as well as those geared to a more general audience. Accountability and content of the specific article are the key criteria used to determine if an article is scholarly.

 

CRITERIA POPULAR MAGAZINES TRADE MAGAZINES SCHOLARLY JOURNALS
Appearance
 
eye-catching cover

glossy paper

pictures and illustrations in color

each issue starts with page 1

cover depicts industrial setting

 

glossy paper

 

pictures and illustrations in color

 

each issue starts with page 1
plain cover

plain paper

black/white graphics and illustrations

pages consecutive throughout each volume

Audience
see Ulrichsweb
nonprofessionals members of a specific business, industry or organization researchers and professionals
Content
personalities, news, and general interest articles

articles written by staff, may be unsigned

industry trends, new products or techniques, and organizational news

articles written by staff or contributing authors

research projects, methodology, and theory

articles written by contributing authors

Accountability editorial review

no bibliographies

editorial review

may have short bibliographies

peer review/refereed*

 

has bibliographies

Advertisements heavy moderate

all or most are trade related

few or none
Examples Gourmet
New York
Psychology Today
 

 

Chilton's Food Engineering
Public Management
APA Monitor
 
Journal of Food Science
Urban Studies
Journal of Applied Psychology
 

 

"Peer review" refers to the policy of having experts in the field examine journal articles before acceptance for publication. Peer review insures that the research described in a journal's articles is sound and of high quality. Sometimes the term "refereed" is used instead of peer review. Ulrichsweb has a list of refereed journals. However, not all scholarly journals are on this list. For unlisted journals, examine the editorial policy, instructions to authors, and/or the editorial board list of members to determine if the editorial boards and/or consultants are experts in the field. Sometimes this information can be found on the journal's own Web site.