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Tips for Finding Articles in the MSU Libraries: Popular, Scholarly, and Trade

Popular, Scholarly and Trade Comparison
  Popular Scholarly Trade
Authority/Authorship
  • Mostly journalists
  • Scholars in an academic or professional field (i.e. doctors, lawyers, educators)
  • Staff writers, industry specialists, and contributing authors
Intended Audience

 

  • General public
  • Scholars or professionals in a particular discipline, field of study, or trade (psychology, medicine, law, etc.)
  • Practitioners and professionals in a specific industry, trade, or organization
Content
  • General interest
  • Popular culture
  • General news
  • Entertainment
  • Original research (such as scientific experiments, surveys and research studies)
  • Critical analysis of topics relative to the profession
  • Charts, diagrams, and/or tables showing data or experiment results are often included
  • Industry related news, trends, techniques, product reviews, statistical data, upcoming events, and more
Level of Language
  • "Everyday" vocabulary/terms
  • Meant to be easily understood by all audiences
  • Specialized vocabulary
  • Terms and concepts specific to a particular discipline or field of study
  • Use vocabulary relevant to an industry, trade or organization
References or Bibliography of Sources
  • Very rarely are any sources listed
  • A list of references or sources is provided at the end of each article
  • Some, but not all, articles contain a list of sources
Review Policy
  • Articles are reviewed by the magazine's editor or editorial staff
  • An editorial board, composed of experts in the field, reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted
  • Also known as "refereed," "peer-reviewed," "professional," or "academic"
  • Articles are reviewed by the publication’s general editorial staff
Advertisments
  • Almost always and in high quantities
  • Occasionally, but highly specialized and specific to scholarly discipline (i.e. specific laboratory equipment, medical tools and drugs)
  • Advertising almost always present
  • Ads relate to relevant industry, trade, or organization
Examples
  • Time
  • Newsweek
  • People
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Stone Soup
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Journal of American Studies
  • College Composition and Communication
  • Journal of Business Administration
  • Annual Review of Plant Biology
  • Nature
  • Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Advertising Age
  • American Libraries
  • Chronicle of Higher Education
  • American Nurse
  • PC Week

Popular, Scholarly, or Trade?

Learn the difference between three major types of articles. Get tips for using each type.

Direct link to "Popular, Scholarly, or Trade?" on MSU Mediaspace

Journal and Article Sorting Game

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