Types of Journals

There are various types of journals including:

The following table reveals a comparison of the various types of journals available:


Academic/Scholarly Journals

Trade Journals

Current Affairs/
Opinion Magazines

Popular Magazines



To inform, report, and make available original research and new findings.

To report on industry trends, new products or techniques to people in a specific trade, business or profession.

To offer in-depth reporting and feature articles without scholarly conventions.

To entertain and inform without providing in-depth analysis.

To disseminate news on a daily or weekly basis.


Often devoted to a single discipline or subdiscipline.

Cover practical information related to a field or industry.

Cover a wide range of topics of interest to the readership.  Be aware of the predominant philosophical/political stance of the editorial board.

Often focused on a particular subject or hobby but may also cover a variety of topics.

Encompass current events in politics, sport, leisure, religion and business.

Peer Review Process

Articles often reviewed by an author's peers before publication.

No peer review process.

No peer review process.

No peer review process, may be reviewed by an editor or editorial board.

No peer review process.


Mainly held in libraries or on subscription-based databases - few are freely available on the WWW.

Mainly held in libraries or on subscription-based databases.  Commonly available as part of professional / trade association membership.

Many titles available from major newsagents, public libraries and some university libraries.

Available in supermarkets and newsagents.

Available in newsagents.


American Economic Review

Australian Journal of Psychology

Advertising Age

Nursing Times

Drug Topics

Bulletin (Sydney)

Current Affairs Bulletin

Scientific American

Time (Sydney)

Readers Digest

National Geographic

New Idea

Sports Illustrated

Australian Financial Review

Morning Bulletin

Courier Mail

Adapted from: 
Camden-Carroll Library - Access Services, n.d., Distinction among types of periodicals, viewed 18 January 2006, http://www.morehead-st.edu/library/access/index.aspx?id=6859