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University
Library

Distinguish between Popular and Scholarly Journals

Popular periodicals may further be divided into the following special categories:

Substantive/
General Interest
Trade/
Professional
Sensational
Often greater attention paid to cultural, literary, or political matters Contain news, trends, developments, and new products in industry or profession Principal subjects include celebrity gossip and 'news' stories defying generally accepted credibility; often in tabloid newspaper format
Aimed at more educated (though non-specialist) audience Intended for professionals and experts in field Directed toward lowest-common-denominator audience
Staff or freelance writers sometimes have expertise in subject Often written by professionals in field Written in elementary, sometimes inflammatory, language; authorship often unattributed
Sources are sometimes cited References or footnotes, if included, are few Entirely unsubstantiated
Articles often more informative and detailed than other 'popular' press Articles focus on technical and practical aspects of field Appeal to audience's gullibility, superstitions, and prejudices
Examples: The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation,
Science News
Examples: Advertising Age, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Examples: The National Enquirer, Star, Weekly World News