Comparison of Scholarly Journals, Trade Journals and Popular Magazines

Scholarly Journals Trade Journals Popular Magazines
Aimed at scholars and professionals in a specific academic field Practical information for a particular profession or industry News, feature stories, opinion pieces aimed at the general public
Articles written by scholars based on their own research Articles written by reporters or practitioners in the field Articles written by reporters; sometimes unsigned
Authors’ credentials and affiliations are listed



Articles are reviewed by experts in the field to ensure research was done correctly and that the result is new and significant (peer-reviewed or refereed)

Reviewed by general editors

Reviewed by fact-checkers and general editors

Articles usually include an abstract, hypothesis, literature review, research method, results, conclusion, and extensive references

Articles may include abstract and short reference list

Rarely cite sources

May include tables and graphs to support research

Fairly heavily illustrated

Heavily illustrated

Very little advertising

Advertising related to the field

Lots of advertising