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General Library Research
ARTICLES

After consulting reference works and circulating books on your topic, you are ready to begin looking for articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Articles are typically useful for their up-to-date and focused treatment of subjects. However, there are many different kinds of articles, and some professors will stipulate that you use only certain types of articles in your assignments. Here is an overview of three types of articles --popular, trade, and scholarly --each having different merits and drawbacks.

 

            SCHOLARLY:

Definition & Use: Also known as peer-reviewed or refereed periodicals, scholarly periodicals publish original research and commentary on developments within a specific discipline. Articles are signed, often lengthy, include minimal illustrations and advertisements, and almost always include a bibliography. Scholarly journals are usually peer-reviewed, meaning that articles are evaluated by one or more subject experts (referees). Scholarly articles are useful for their original and rigorous approaches to problems by experts in a particular field. Students can almost always use scholarly articles in their research, although they may need to supplement such research with books or other sources of information.

 

           TRADE:

Definition & Use: Also known as professional, industry-specific, or special interest periodicals, trade periodicals are "devoted to disseminating news and information of interest to a specific category of business or industry, often published by a trade association" (Rietz). Articles in trade periodicals are usually short to medium-length, may or may not be signed, usually contain some advertisements or illustrations, and may or may not contain a bibliography. Trade journals are useful for their coverage of industry trends, practices, and opinions. Students may generally use trade journals but should often supplement research in them with material from scholarly articles, books, or other sources of information.

 

           POPULAR:

Definition & Use: Popular periodicals usually contain short articles on a variety of topics written by various authors in an informal style. Articles are sometimes unsigned and usually do not include a bibliography. Popular publications usually contain illustrations or advertisements and are usually sold at newsstands or in bookstores. They are useful for their coverage of current events and popular opinion, but should be used sparingly in research and supplemented with material from trade or scholarly journals, books, or other sources of information.




The following periodicals are available in print at the Rosen Library and may contain helpful information on current topics.

 
bullet Business Week bullet Newsweek
bullet Harvard Business Review bullet Orlando Business Journal
bullet National Geographic bullet Orlando Sentinel

If you know of a particular journal related to your chosen topic, you can check to see if you have online access to it by clicking on Online Journals and typing in the journal title. From this search screen, you also have the option to click "Category" and browse a list of subject areas for relevant journals.

UCF Libraries subscribes to several newspapers that you can access online via news databases. They range from local to regional newspapers, as well as the major U.S. papers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal.

Just as with browsing the book stacks, browsing the periodical shelves helps to better familiarize you with the subject and may lead you to several useful sources, but it can also cause you to overlook many useful sources.

For additional information on the different types of articles, see the Rosen Research guide on Scholarly, Trade, or Popular? (A Guide to Understanding Periodicals).

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Last updated May 06, 2013 4:25:56 PM

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