12.7 Popular, Scholarly, Trade Periodicals

One of the specific types of publications your search may uncover are articles that have appeared in periodical publications. A “periodical” is a publication that

A pile of food magazines

Jessica Spengler – Magazines – CC BY 2.0

appears at regular intervals. Most of the time, the term periodical refers to things such as magazines, newsletters, journals, gazettes and similar types of publications in print or in digital form.

If you are using material that appeared in a periodical publication you need to recognize the distinctions between a popular periodical, a scholarly periodical or a trade periodical. These three types of periodicals have vastly different audiences, purposes and means for generating information.

Popular periodicals roughly correspond to “Journalistic Sources” on the information strategy model. Scholarly sources are self-evident on the model. Trade sources roughly correspond to “Private-Sector Institutional Sources” on the model. As an information searcher, you need to understand these distinctions and know what they mean for your information search.