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Periodicals: Types of Periodicals

What's a Periodical?

Periodicals are publications that are issued on a regular, or periodic, interval.  Periodicals can be excellent sources of concise, focused articles on current events and social issues.  Articles in periodicals typically address a very specific aspect of a larger topic.

Different types of periodicals are suitable for different types of information, and are published at different intervals.

  • Newspapers are good sources for coverage of news events, including local, state, national, and world news, and are published daily or weekly.
  • Magazines are good sources for articles related to popular culture and social issues, and may be published weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
  • Journals are good sources for scholarly research or topics related to specific professions, and may be published montly, bi-monthly. or several times a year.
  • Trade Journals are good sources of news and practical information related to specific professions or occupations, and may be published weekly or monthly.

This chart outlines characteristics to help distinguish among types of periodicals: