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University of Newcastle Library Guides

Enabling Pathways Library Guide: Journal articles

Guide to assist Open Foundation, Newstep and Yapug students find information for assignments

Types of journals

You will come across different types of journals in your searching.  Some characteristics of each type are listed below to help you distinguish between them.  At university you will mostly be expected to use academic/scholarly journals.

Academic/scholarly journals Trade/Industry journals Popular journals
Report/comment on original research and developments in an academic discipline Report on industry trends Report on current trends and popular topics
Little or no advertising Industry related advertising Contain commercial advertising
Written by experts in an academic discipline Written by industry professionals Articles written by journalists
Technical language with assumed knowledge of terminology and subject Includes some technical terminology but still easy to understand Articles written in language that is easy to understand
Extensive list of references Articles contain few or no references Articles contain few or no references

Example of a scholarly journal:
European Journal of Cultural Studies

Example of a trade journal:
Business Review Weekly

Example of a popular journal:
National Geographic

Peer-reviewed journals

You will also come across the term "peer reviewed" (aka "refereed") around journals:

  • Peer-reviewed journals are high quality, scholarly journals.
  • Articles are subject to an independent review by a panel of subject experts (i.e. the authors' peers) before they are selected for publication.
  • The purpose of the peer-review process is to ensure that the content is accurate and valid.
  • To find peer-reviewed journal articles see our guide.