Answered By: Diane Cruickshank
Last Updated: Sep 07, 2018     Views: 199

Take a look at our libguide: Types of Periodicals to help you identify the differences between newspapers, tabloids, scholarly journals and more.

But if you just want a brief overview here's a chart:




  •  Published by a University, Institution, Association, or   Society.
  • Published by a commercial publishing house or business.
  • Original reporting of research.
  • Secondary reporting of research.
  • Research articles follow scientific method (hypothesis, experiment which gathers empirical evidence, results, discussion, conclusion).
  • Articles do not follow format for the scientific method.
  • Articles have bibliographies.
  • Articles have no or very brief
  • bibliographies. 
  • Audience is academics, scholars, researchers.
  • Audience is general public. Information is synthesized from the scholarly journals and repackaged for the layman.
  • Exist to communicate research information to others in a particular area of study or interest.
  • Exist to both entertain and inform. May have many different topics covered. Profit motive.
  • Contain little or no advertising.
  • Contain conspicuous advertising.
  • Lengthy articles with in-depth analysis.
  • Articles often short.
  • Available mainly by subscription and may be very expensive. 
  • Available on newsstands and by subscription.  Usually quite inexpensive.
  • Peer Reviewed by panel of acknowledged experts in the field, or editorial review board.
  • May not have a peer review process or list an editorial board. 
  • Vocabulary is advanced and specific to the field.
  • Vocabulary is designed to be understood by a layman.
  • Articles signed by author and author's academic credentials are given.
  • Articles may not be signed by author.  If signed, credentials may not be given.
  • Plain looking - few, if any photographs or diagrams.
  • Often glossy looking to attract attention.  Very visual.
  • May describe process for submitting articles.
  • Usually doesn't describe process for submitting articles.