Professors will often ask you to find articles that are scholarly. What does that mean? Journal articles are usually "scholarly" while magazine articles are "popular". Trade publications are specific publications that are targeted to people who work in specific industries for example: the advertising business.
|Criteria||Scholarly Journal||Trade Publication||Popular Magazine|
|Sample First Page of Article|
|Title of Article||"Gender, toys and learning"||"Toy Story"||"The Truth About Boys and Girls"|
|Title of Publication||Oxford Review of Education||Professional Engineering||Baby Talk|
|Purpose of Publication||"Articles and review articles on the theory and practice of education from scholars throughout the world in disciplines including philosophy, political science, economics, history, anthropology, sociology, psychology and medicine."||"Addresses the news & technology that impacts on the business & careers of professional engineers in all sectors of engineering & manufacturing."||"Publishes articles on a mix of news and advice on the challenges of new motherhood from experts and moms who "tell it like it is.""|
|Audience||Scholars and researchers in the particular field of study.||People in the business||General audience.|
|Authors||Scholars and researchers (generally not paid).||Paid staff writers, professionals and vendors in the field.||Paid journalists, staff writers and freelance writers.|
|Editors||Journal editors and peer reviewers.||Staff editors.||Staff editors.|
|Works Cited/References||Almost always.||Sometimes.||Rarely.|
Table adapted from a table created by NCSU Libraries.
Academic or scholarly journals can have many different types of articles, some of which are not appropriate to cite in research papers. Make sure that the articles you use for your paper not only come from academic or scholarly journals, but also are the right type of articles. Below are examples of different types of articles you might find in an academic or scholarly journal. Click on the "PDF Full Text" icon at each link (except the news article) to view the whole articles.
News articles can help you discover the latest developments and issues happening in relation to your topic. News articles sometimes cite research studies; in these cases, they can offer a simple way to find research books or articles about your topic. Otherwise, news articles are usually not appropriate to actually cite in your paper.
Research articles offer expert, in-depth, and detailed information on the topic. They are generally considered the most authoritative sources for college research.