How to identify scholarly, trade and popular publications


 Scholarly JournalsSubstantive/Trade or Professional PublicationsPopular/General interest magazines
Sample titles e.g. Canadian Journal of Economics, Journal of Chemical Biology e.g. Economist, Advertising Age e.g. Maclean's, Time
Author Written by scholars, often affiliated with a university or institution. Practitioners in a particular field. Scholar, free lance writer or staff. Magazine staff or free lance writer. Sometimes an expert or scholar.
Purpose/Audience To make available original research or critical analysis to the scholarly world. To provide practical information to people in the field. To inform an educated audience. To provide information to the general public on a wide range of topics.
Language/Tone Unemotional, factual, scientific. Formal style. Trade publications use language of a particular field, written for the educated professional. Substantive publications written for an educated public. Informal language. Easy reading. May be anecdotal or personal.
Publisher Often published by a professional organization or university press; sometimes published by commercial enterprises for profit. Professional organization affiliated to a particular field. Published by commercial enterprises for profit.
Validation Footnotes and bibliographies always included. Sources of information sometimes mentioned within the article. Bibliographies rarely included. Sources rarely cited.
Review Process Articles go through peer review by other experts in the field. Minimal review by editorial staff. Minimal review by editorial staff.
Layout May contain graphs, charts, photos included only to support text. Charts, graphs,photos relevant to article. May include graphic art. Photos and illustrations used as decorations. Includes advertising which targets the general public.