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MAT 246: Special Topics in Therapeutic Massage (Griffith): Types of Publications


Comparison chart: Scholarly journals, magazines, and trade publications

The table below provides a quick comparison between scholarly journals, magazines, and trade publications:



Scholarly journals




Trade publications


Academics and experts in the discipline or field who are always identified

Professional writers, not necessarily experts; writers are not always identified

Industry experts, professionals, or practitioners who are not always identified

Facilitate scholarly communication between members of a particular academic discipline and/or the public

Provide general information and entertainment to a broad audience


Provide information to members of a particular industry or profession

Content Description

Extensive research articles and analysis written in formal academic styles; some of these types of articles can be considered primary sources

May include scholarly review articles or news sections which briefly report on new research; these are not research articles 

Plain covers, and generally more charts, graphs, and illustrations than photographs; sometimes advertising

Often have the word "journal" in the title

Information is always specific to a particular academic discipline or field, and usually requires professional or academic knowledge to be fully understood

General interest articles that can include a mixture of fact, anecdote, and/or opinion

Glossy covers, many pictures, extensive use of color images, and usually much advertising

Often called "popular magazines"

No special vocabulary or knowledge is generally required to understand

Exclusively professional, industry, or trade information

Articles can be fact, anecdote, and/or opinion.

Usually have colorful covers, and quite often advertising specific to the profession, trade, or industry

Often require professional knowledge and vocabulary to be fully understood

Publishers Academic organizations Commercial publishers Usually professional and trade organizations
Citations, footnotes/endnotes, and/or bibliographies Always Usually none Sometimes
Peer reviewed

Almost always

Editorial board members are listed in each journal issue, and/or on the journal's website.

 No  Very rarely
Format Print and electronic Print and electronic Print and electronic
How to access

Paid subscriptions to print or electronic versions

Electronic versions are usually accessed through subscription databases

Sometimes available online free of charge as Open Access journals or through Google Scholar

Paid subscriptions to print or electronic versions

Electronic versions are usually accessed through databases, and sometimes through the magazine's website

Paid subscriptions to print or electronic versions

Electronic versions are usually accessed through business databases, and sometimes through websites

Examples of subscription publications


The Linguistic Review

Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Journal of Biomechanics


National Geographic

Psychology Today

Sport's Illustrated

Scientific American

Canadian Banker

Food in Canada

Sight and Sound

Examples of Open access publications

Northwest Journal of Linguistics

Current Issues in Education