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Distinctions Among Types of Periodicals: Subjects

This will help you understand what type of print publication you are dealing with.

Subjects

SUBJECTS

Some periodicals will cover one very specific subject whereas others will cover a wide variety of topics.  It is necessary to be aware of the subject or subjects covered by a periodical while doing research as this will help locate the proper materials for your topic.

  Back to Main Chart Academic Journals Substantial
News/General
Interest
Popular
Magazines
Newspapers
Subjects Often devoted to a single discipline or subdiscipline  Cover a wide variety of topics that may be of interest to the readership Will often focus on a particular subject or hobby but may also cover a variety of topics To disseminate news on a daily or weekly basis
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Academic Journals -- Often devoted to a single discipline or subdiscipline

This excerpt from the title page of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology shows the general topics which fall within the scope of this journal. As you can see, the scope is very limited and only includes topics about abnormal psychology.

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Substantial News/General Interest -- Cover a wide variety of topics that may be of interest to the readership

This table of contents from Newsweek shows the types of articles included in this news magazine. For instance, articles range from news about national and international affairs to personal interest or entertainment.

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Popular Magazines -- Will often focus on a particular subject or hobby but may also cover a variety of topics

This cover of an issue of Glamour magazine immediately alerts the reader to the types of articles contained within its pages. Articles in Glamour are geared towards a general audience and focus on issues such as fashion, beauty, relationships, and health concerns.

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Newspapers -- To disseminate news on a daily or weekly basis

Below is and example of the front page content listing for The New York Times.

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