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Distinguishing Scholarly from Non-Scholarly Periodicals: A Checklist of Criteria: News & General Interest

Cues for recognizing scholarly journals, news sources, popular magazines, and sensational periodicals. Click on the TABS below for tips on how to recognize these publications.

Substantive News and General Interest

These periodicals may be quite attractive in appearance, although some are in newspaper format in their printed versions. Articles are often illustrated, generally with photographs.

What to look for

News and general interest periodicals sometimes cite sources, though more often do not.

Articles may be written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar or a free lance writer. The author information is called a byline in news sources.

The language of these publications is geared to any educated audience. There is no specialty assumed, only interest and a certain level of intelligence.

They are generally published by commercial enterprises or individuals, although some emanate from specific professional organizations.

The main purpose of periodicals in this category is to provide information, in a general manner, to a broad audience of concerned citizens.

Substantive news sources are accountable for the accuracy of their reporting and use recognized journalistic standards.

Examples of Substantive News and General Interest Periodicals

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