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Criteria to Identify Scholarly and Non-Scholarly Periodicals  

Compiled by Colleen Kehoe-Robinson, Librarian, Associate Professor
Last Updated: Nov 17, 2011 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Instructions Print Page


Criteria to Identify Scholarly and Nonscholarly Periodicals


Periodical Type

Purpose and Contents


Scholarly Journal

Also known as Professional Journal.

*Databases often use the terms Refereed


Peer-Reviewed to describe these journals.

1. Original research or experiments are reported.

2. Experts in the field write the articles to share with other experts in the field.

3. Articles contain specialized terminology of the field.

4. Articles are peer-reviewed.

5. Articles are cited in form of footnotes or bibliographies.

6.Has few or no advertisements.

Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly


American Journal of Nursing


Journal of Marriage and the Family



Trade Journal

1. Provides practical information in industry.

2. Articles contain business news, product information, current trends in technology.

3. Articles are generally written by experts in the field for other experts in the field.

4. Contains advertisements for related products.

Aviation Week and Space Technology



General-Interest Magazine

1. Information is geared towards a broad audience.

2. Articles are typically written by editors or freelance writers; they are not peer-reviewed.

3. Articles tend to include a large number of photographs.

4. Contains many advertisements for a variety of products.





Psychology Today

Popular Magazine

1. Articles are short and are written by freelance writers.

2. The purpose of the magazine is to entertain.

3. Contains many advertisements for a variety of products.

People Weekly


Rolling Stone

Information adapted from:

Working With Faculty to Design Undergraduate Information Literacy Programs. Chart. New York :

Neal-Schuman, 1999.

CRKR 8/02




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