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Clinical Microbiology: BIOL 2001

This guide is intended to assist students in Professor Bricker's Clinical Microbiology Lecture

Scholarly, Popular, or Trade Publication?

 Different types of publications have different purposes and different audiences. When we talk about periodicals, we can usually divide these publications into three broad categories: scholarly, popular, and trade publications.  Still not sure?  Check out the Scholarly vs. Popular video!
Scholarly, Popular, Trade?  What's in a name? Scholarly Periodicals Popular Periodicals Trade Periodicals
Purpose Informs and reports on original research done by scholars and experts in the field.  Published by professional organizations, university presses, and research institutes. Entertains and informs a general audience without providing in-depth analysis.  Published by commercial presses. Reports on industry trends and new products or techniques useful to people in a trade or business. Published by commercial presses or industry associations.
Authors Articles are written by subject specialists and experts in the field.  Reviewed by experts (peer review) not employed by the journal. Articles are written by journalists, freelance writers, or an editorial staff.  No peer-review process. Articles are written by specialists in a certain field or industry as well as journalists.  No peer-review process.
Audience Intended for a limited audience - researchers, scholars, and experts. Intended for a broad segment of the population, appealing to non-specialists. Intended for practititioners in a particular profession, business, or industry.

Journal of Biochemistry

American Sociological Review

Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly

U.S. News and World Report

Reader's Digest

Rolling Stone

Broadcasting & Cable

Advertising Age



How to Identify Scholarly Journals

image of a scholarly article
Interactive tutorial
Following is a checklist of some typical qualities of a scholarly journal article:
  • Is there an abstract or summary at the beginning of the article?
  • Does the article include a bibliography?
  • Are there in-text citations (e.g., parenthetical references, endnotes, or footnotes)?
  • Does the author use specialized language, relevant to the subject area?
  • What is the author's affiliation or credentials (e.g., is it with a college, university, or research organization)?
  • Who is the audience of the article? Is it written for fellow scholars in the field, for practitioners, or for a general/popular audience?
  • How many pages is the article? Is it substantial in length?
  • What kind of images does it contain? Scholarly journals tend to have few, if any images, but often contain charts, graphs, or data tables.
  • Does the journal title refer to an academic discipline or specialized field of study? Often the title will include words such as journalresearch, or review.