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Articles: Types of Periodicals

A guide to finding, identifying, and using different types of articles designed and created by Clark Librarians

What is a periodical?

A periodical is any type of publication that is published on a regular, or periodic, basis. You are probably familiar with two kinds of periodicals: magazines and newspapers. But there are other types: professional/trade journals, journals of opinion, and scholarly/research journals. Use the chart to learn the difference and help you decide which type is appropriate for a specific need.

Examples:

  • The Columbian
  • The New York Times
  • The Washington Post

Value or Use:

  • Current information
  • News stories
  • Opinion and commentary
  • Texts of speeches, etc.
  • Geographic focus

Best Newspaper Indexes/Databases:

Examples:

  • Time
  • Newsweek

Value or Use:

  • Current events overviews
  • Non-technical language
  • Charts, pictures, graphs

Best Magazine Indexes/Databases:

Examples:

  • American Machinist
  • Library Journal

Value or Use:

  • Written for practitioners in applied fields
  • Product information
  • Current trends and practices

General Indexes/Databases:

Examples:

  • Commentary
  • The New Republic

Value or Use:

  • Written from a political viewpoint (liberal, conservative)
  • General educated audience
  • Commentary on politics, society
  • Book reviews

General Indexes/Databases:

Also called peer-reviewed or academic

Examples:

  • Journal of Reading
  • New England Journal of Medicine

Value or Use:

  • Reports of original research
  • In-depth analysis of topics
  • Usually contains sections on Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and Works Cited/References
  • Uses technical vocabulary

Specialized Disciplinary Indexes, Abstracts/Databases:

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