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Global Affairs

Scholarly, Popular and Trade or Professional Publications

Scholarly or Academic Journals

  • Are written by scholars for scholars.
    • Note, however, that popular media and news sources may be primary sources for research.
    • Purpose and context are crucial.
  • Cite their sources documenting their arguments and data, thereby:
    • facilitating the ongoing scholarly conversation;
    • giving credit to the work of others.
  • Conform to the standards of a scholarly discipline.
  • Refereed or Peer-Reviewed Journals
    • Are a subset of scholarly journals.
    • Are reviewed (refereed) by a panel of scholars (peers) before acceptance to determine if potential articles meet the standards of the discipline and of the journal.
    • Are guaranteed to be scholarly.
    • For example, Journal of Peace Research.
    • Articles in other journals may still be scholarly but lack this "guarantee" -- look for cites and documentation.

Trade or Professional Periodicals

  • Written for practitioners or the well-informed public.
  • May or may not cite sources.
  • Often look like popular periodicals.
  • For example, American Libraries or Scientific American.

Popular Magazines and News Sources

  • Written by journalists and professional writers for the general public.
  • Generally have no documentation beyond an occasional in-text reference.
  • Have many glossy ads and colorful illustrations.
  • For example, Time Magazine, Paris Match or Cat Fancier's Weekly.
  • Exceptions:
    • May contain serious, well-informed analysis, e.g. lengthy editorials in the New York Times
    • May contain invaluable investigative reporting, e.g. the Watergate series in the Washington Post