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Ekstrom Library

BUS 301: West Louisville Business Resources: Types of Articles

Scholarly vs. Trade vs. News Publications

The key distinction between scholarly, or academic, journals and other publications is that research articles in scholarly journals are written and reviewed by academic experts in the designated field. This process is called peer review. Although some publications may contain both peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed articles, here are some general guidelines for distinguishing scholarly journals from trade and news publications.


Differences between Scholarly Journals, Trade Publications, and Magazines
  Scholarly Journals Trade Publications Magazines
Purpose Share original research or experimentation Provide news and information about a profession or industry Provide general information
Audience Scholars People working in or with the particular trade General public
Authors Scholars with listed affiliations / credentials Practitioners, staff and freelance followers of the industry Staff and / or freelance writers
Sources Footnotes and / or bibliographies Sometimes brief footnotes and sources Sometimes brief footnotes and sources
  • Lengthy, structured articles
  • Graphs, charts, pictures to support research
  • Usually black and white
  • Little or no advertising
  • Short news briefs; some in-depth reviews
  • Graphics and photos for support and to attract readers
  • Mostly color
  • Advertising aimed at those in the industry
  • Articles of varying length
  • Graphic and photos for support and to attract readers
  • Mostly color
  • Considerable advertising

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