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The Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture & Construction Science: Finding Journal Articles

Popular Magazines and Scholarly Journals

Differences Between Popular Magazines and Scholarly Journals

Characteristics of Magazines:

  • Articles describe a study or a research project that has been done or tell general facts about a subject
  • Intended for the general public
  • Usually, published more frequently (weekly, bi-weekly)
  • Language is simple and style is more "newsy"
  • Tries to catch the interest of readers with photographs and other color illustrations
  • Usually, does not have a bibliography at the end of the article
  • Usually, has a shorter article length
  • Author does not have to be a member of the field he/she is writing about
  • Usually, contains advertisements
  • Publisher is usually a corporation
  • Each issue's pages are numbered individually
  • Articles are indexed in general indexes
  • Issues are widely available and can be purchased in many stores

Characteristics of Scholarly Journals:

  • Articles contain original research and original interpretation of data and texts (includes studies, experiments, and historical research)
  • Intended for professionals, scholars, and students of a specific field
  • Usually published less frequently (bimonthly, quarterly)
  • Language is more technical and specific to the field
  • Usually, has no pictures but may contain charts to show research data
  • Usually, contains a bibliography at the end of the article
  • Usually, has a longer article length
  • Author is a qualified member of the field
  • Contains few advertisements unless it is an item used in the field
  • Publisher is usually a scholarly association or university
  • Pages are continuously numbered throughout a volume
  • Articles are indexed in subject-specific indexes

Examples of Some Popular Magizines

  • Time
  • Business Week
  • Newsweek
  • Forbes
  • Psychology Today
  • Fortune
  • Atlantic Monthly
  • Rolling Stone
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Sports Illustrated
  • New Yorker
  • Ladies Home Journal

Examples of Some Scholarly Journals

  • New England Journal of Medicine
  • International Journal of Nursing Studies
  • Journal of Abnormal Psychology
  • Research in Higher Education
  • JAMA
  • Social Work
  • William and Mary Quarterly
  • Social Forces
  • Canadian Literature
  • Journal of Marriage and the Family
  • Journal of Communication
  • American Journal of Psychiatry


Finding Journal Articles

The best way to find articles is to look up your topic in a periodical database

Example:   Find information on ENTER YOUR TOPIC INFORMATION HERE

  • Go the library’s homepage
  • Click on Databases/e-Resources
  • Databases are arranged by Subject and Alphabetically
  • Link to the appropriate database and key in your search  (Ask a librarian if you need help in determining which database to use)
  • Under the Subject link, choose   ENTER SUBJECT HERE
                Select ENTER DATABASE HERE

                Enter in the topic: ENTER TOPIC HERE  
  • After clicking search, you may need to narrow your results
  • To do this, select Year(s), Publication title(s), Topic(s), Content type(s) and click on "Apply filters" and that should narrow your results

Remember, if you have any questions ask a librarian.  We are here to help.