Answered By: Laura Marek
Last Updated: Aug 09, 2018     Views: 520

Information is published in a number of different sources. Even amongst a similar type of source, periodicals, there can be differences. See this table below for how to tell the difference between a peer reviewed journal article and a popular magazine article:

 

  Scholarly/Peer Reviewed            Trade         Popular
Purpose To report results of original research and experimentation To report industry/trade trends, products, and news To report current events, and general information
Look Plain, serious, lengthy articles, may contain charts and graphs to support findings Glossy, commercial, contains color illustrations/photos, and industry/trade related ads Glossy, attractive, contains color illustrations/photos, and everyday product ads
Author Scholars and experts in the field of study/discipline Industry specialists or staff writers Journalists/reporters, staff or freelance writers
Audience Scholars in academic and discipline related fields, researchers, and students Members or those with interest in a particular industry or trade Anyone
Language Academic and technical Jargon of the industry Non-technical, written in a language for anyone to understand
Documentation Heavily cited with footnotes or bibliography Occasionally contain cited sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies Sources are rarely cited, although references may be mentioned in text

 

 

How and when you use different information types is also important. See the video below for tips on when to use different types of publications and considerations when evaluating sources.