Characteristics of Scholarly, Refereed, Popular, and Trade Publications

Scholarly Journals Refereed Journals Popular Magazines Trade Magazines
Peer Reviewed by three or four qualified peers.   Articles evaluated for quality. Reviewed by an expert in the field, but not as rigorously evaluated as scholarly journals. Feature writers; columns, some paid or invited authors. Writers include reporters, practitioners and professionals within a specific industry
Bibliographies or references always included. May include short bibliographies. Usually do not have bibliographies or references. Usually do not have bibliographies or references.
In-depth, articles, more than 5 pages in length. Articles between 3-7 pages. Articles between 1-5 pages. Length of articles vary from brief news to in-depth analysis.
Authors are experts in field. Authors are experts in the field. Authors may have expertise in the field, or may be generalists Authors have practical knowledge of the field.
Audience is the scholarly reader: Professors, Researchers, Students Audience may be specialists in the field or  the general public. Audience is the general public. Audience includes practitioners and professionals in the field
Written in jargon of field for others with similar backgrounds. Written for experts in the field or for general population with an interest in the subject. Popular, written for anyone to understand. Written for practitioners and professionals in the industry/field.
Illustrations support text: maps tables, photographs Illustrations support the text but may be more appealing than those in scholarly publications. Often profusely illustrated for marketing appeal Pictures support text: statistical data, manufactured goods, products, patents, etc.
Examples: Art History,  Social Work Quarterly; Science Examples: American Prospect, Art Education, BioCycle Examples: Time, Newsweek, Redbook, Psychology Today, Popular Science, PC Magazine Examples: Chronicle for Higher Education, Night Club and Bar Magazine, PC Week, 

Peggy Keeran, March 2001