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Start Your Research Here!: Periodicals and Books

Periodicals and Books: Why is this Important?


Most of your academic research material will come from periodicals and/or books. They may be digital or in paper.

The most familiar examples of Periodicals are:

(published daily or weekly)

Magazines (published weekly or monthly)

Newsletters (published weekly or monthly)
Scholarly Journals (published quarterly or semiannually)

Yearbooks (published annually)

Note: these are typical publishing schedules - they may vary depending on the publication

Different Kinds of Books:

Reference Books


And these are subdivided into many different categories. 

NOTE: Books and periodicals are cited differently in APA format so it is important to know what kind of research material you are using for your paper or project.

But, What are the Differences between Periodical types???

Type Newspapers Popular Magazines Trade Magazines Scholarly Journals
How often published (usually)?





Entertain, Inform, Persuade Entertain, Inform, Persuade news or information for practitioners in an industry or trade Report research & advance knowledge in a field
Are there Advertisements?
Yes, LOTS!

Yes, LOTS (colorful)
Yes, but are for equipment, products, or ads for a specific trade or industry Some, but usually for related books or publishers
Who is the Author? Editorial Staff or Freelance Writer Editorial Staff or Freelance Writer Experts and practitioners
in a field
Experts in a field
Who is the Intended Audience?
General Public

General Public
Members of an Organization, Business, or Industry Scholarly researchers, faculty, students, and professionals


Illustrations, photos, many advertisements Glossy paper, Illustrations, photos, many advertisements Glossy paper, illustrations, photos, relevant advertisements Relevant illustrations, tables, charts, statistics, graphs, maps, and few advertisements
Language Simple, non-technical language Simple, non-technical language Specialized vocabulary / jargon of a field Specialized vocabulary / jargon of a field


Not usually

Not usually

Short reference lists
Footnotes and reference lists that cite other scholarly sources

New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc.

People, Time, Newsweek, Ebony, Sports Illustrated, New Yorker, etc.

Modern Healthcare, Medical Marketing & Media, Chain Drug Review, American Libraries, etc.

Journal of Physical Therapy Education, Nursing Science Quarterly, Journal of Veterinary Science, etc., 

Peer Review: Why is this Important?

Peer Review is the process where something is published ONLY AFTER it has been reviewed and accepted by other experts in the same field. It is a rigorous process and helps publishers distribute factual and credible studies. Many Academic Journals use the peer-review process.

Peer Review

Used with Permission from NC State University Libraries

Using Books - Why is this Important?

For your RESEARCH PROJECTS, you will typically use REFERENCE BOOKS, TEXTBOOKS, AND NON-FICTION BOOKS either in electronic or paper format. Books either give you a brief or lengthy look into a topic. You will find simplified definitions and uses in the chart below.

For additional information, please contact the Librarian.

Type of Books What is It? AND Examples Useful For


Reference books are books you usually would not read cover-to-cover. Examples are: Dictionaries, Handbooks, Encyclopedias, Atlases, etc.
Definitions, brief and lengthy descriptions of a topic, overviews, comprehensive statistical information, etc.

Manual of Instruction about a certain field of study. Examples are: Nutrition: An Applied Approach, Human Anatomy & Physiology, Massage Therapy: Principles and Practice, Mccurnins Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians, etc. Textbooks give you excellent and credibly information about a subject and are used to teach students at all levels of education.

Literature based in fact rather than from someone's imagination. Examples are: biographies, histories, how-to-books, and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank, Hiroshima by John Hersey, Becoming by Michelle Obama, etc. Lengthy, usually factual, in-depth look at a topic.