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What is a Professional Journal?

What is a Professional Journal?

Scholarly Periodicals/Journals 

Scholarly journals are made up of many scholarly articles. 

  • Scholarly journals always cite their sources in either footnotes or bibliographies. 
  • Articles are written by scholars within specific disciplines.
  • The language used is specific to the discipline covered. It assumes some discipline knowledge on the part of the reader.
  • The primary purpose is to report on original research, making it available to the rest of the scholars within a discipline.
  • Many are published by professional associations or universities

 Examples of Scholarly Journals

  • American Economic Review
  • JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Journal of Social Work Education
  • Journal of Labor Research

Non-Scholarly Periodicals

Magazines and newspapers are considered non-scholarly periodicals. They are written to entertain the public and are produced at a much faster rate than academic journals.

  •  News and general interest periodicals may or may not cite sources used in articles
  •  Articles may be written by a variety of staff members, scholars, or freelance writers.
  •  The language is geared to interested audiences. No discipline knowledge is assumed.
  •  These periodicals are generally produced by commercial publishers

    Examples of Substantive News or General Interest Periodicals

  • Economist
  • National Geographic
  • Scientific American
  • Forbes
  • Popular Periodicals

Popular Periodicals

Popular periodicals are published in many formats. They tend to be slick with lots of graphics including photographs, and drawings.

  •  These publications rarely cite sources of information. Information frequently is second or third hand.
  •   Articles tend to be very short with little depth of content and typically written in simple language.
  •   Articles are written by staff members or freelance writers.

    The primary purpose of popular periodicals is entertainment, selling products, and/or promotion of a particular viewpoint. 

 Examples of Popular Periodicals

  • Sports Illustrated
  • Newsweek
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Ebony 

 

Adapted from the Wallace Library, Rochester Institute of Technology