This video explains the differences between three types of periodicals: popular, trade, and scholarly.

Like their name suggests, periodicals are published periodically. In this case, periodically means: more than once and on a set schedule. That schedule could be once a day, once a week or once a year.

Periodicals fall into three main categories: popular, trade and scholarly.

The first kind of periodicals we’ll talk about are popular. Even if you haven’t heard the word periodicals before, you’re probably familiar with this kind of publication.

Popular periodicals are just that, popular. Examples include newspapers such as The New York Times, or USA Today and magazines such as Time, Sports Illustrated or People.

Articles in these publications are written by individuals who are paid to do so and do not require a references list or bibliography.

Advertising in these kinds of publications are for products and services that are widely available and appeal to the readers of that specific publication.

You can find these kinds of publications everywhere, from the grocery store to the gas station to the airport.

Trade periodicals can be seen as a bridge from popular to scholarly.

Trade periodicals are those that may only appeal to individuals who are interested or involved in a specific hobby, trade or user group.

Articles are written by journalists who specialize in that area of interest, practitioners or users.

Like popular periodicals, a references list or bibliography is not required. However, in trade publications, a suggested reading list may accompany an article.

Advertising may be of general interest or specifically targeted to the kind of individuals, practitioners or users reading the special interest publication.

Trade publications are not available in all locations and may only be available in larger bookstores or newsstands or by subscription.

Scholarly publications differ greatly from popular and trade publications.

Examples of scholarly publications include some you may have heard of, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and others such as Journal of Applied Crystallography and Political Research Quarterly.

Articles in these publications are written by scholars or researchers in the field of study.  References within the article are cited and there is a references list or bibliography which includes full citation information.

Access to these publications may require a subscription or access through a library or database.

Let’s review…

The three types of periodicals are popular, which includes newspapers and magazines of general interest; trade publications which appeal to a smaller, more specific audience and scholarly, which may be of limited interest to the general public with articles written by scholars or researchers.

This concludes the video about the different types of periodicals. If you have any questions, please contact the Reference Desk at your library.