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Scholarly journals vs trade journals vs popular magazines

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Criteria Scholarly journals Trade journals Popular magazines
Intended audience Researchers, professionals, and academics Professionals/tradespeople in specific businesses, industries, or associations Non-experts
Article authors Scholars with a high level of education in their areas of specialization

Authors are named and their credentials and any institutional affiliations are given
Staff members, practitioners, freelance writers

Authors are usually named
Staff members, journalists, freelance writers

Authors may be anonymous
Editors Editorial boards comprised of scholars, typically these are not paid positions Editors work for the journal Editors work for the magazine
Publishers Typically a scholarly or professional organization or university press Often a trade organization Commercial, for profit
Article content Original research, in-depth study, literary criticism and theory Industry trends, new products or techniques, and organizational news Personalities, news of current events, and general interest articles
Writing style and language Uses discipline-specific terminology requiring the reader to have fairly advanced knowledge of the subject area Includes trade/industry-specific terminology Easy to read, simple language
Advertisements Very few and then pertaining to books or upcoming conferences Moderate number, mostly trade-related Heavily interspersed with consumer products
Article appearance Length: typically 10-35 pages

Leads with an abstract/summary

Very little white space, typically contains graphics, figures, tables, and sections on methodology, discussion, and concluding remarks

Bibliographies/reference lists are present
Length: typically 2-5 pages

May lead with an abstract/summary

Includes pictures and illustrations, draws on authors' personal/professional experiences

May include short bibliographies/reference lists
Length: typically 1-2 pages

Includes colour pictures/photographs

Rarely includes bibliographies/reference lists
Examples Journal of Computer and System Sciences Computer World

Hotel Management
Maclean's

Time

Related guide

Peer-reviewed journal articles