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Information Sources: Periodicals

This guide will assist you in choosing the best sources for your information needs.

Article Databases

If you determine that an article on a topic is the right option for your research needs, check out the many article databases located on the Library Services website under A-Z Databases. These databases are chosen by NSCC librarians, and support the programs offered at the College. They contain articles from a variety of sources - magazines, newspapers, trade publications, and scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. The content is reviewed and updated regularly and contain no advertisements. Many of the databases also contain a citation tool to help you document your sources in APA citation style.

Types of Periodicals


Definition:  A publication that is "issued periodically, usually bound in a paper cover, and typically containing essays, stories, poems, etc., by many writers, as well as photographs and drawings. They frequently specialize in a particular subject, i.e. hobbies, news, or sports (Magazine, n.d., para. 1).

Where to FindPrint magazines are delivered to homes and libraries. Some magazines have an online presence, but access to older articles may require a subscription. Library databases contain full-text articles from magazines.


Definition: Scholarly journals are written by scholars, and experts with advanced degrees in the subject area. They are written for scholars, which means the author(s) will cover advanced, complex content in the common language of that discipline, They are typically peer reviewed, or editorially reviewed.

Where to FindPrint journals are delivered to subscribers and libraries. Some journals are Open Access and make all their content available online for free. Some journals allow authors to keep a copy of their articles online in a repository, and you can usually find these through Google Scholar. Libraries subscribe to article databases. Those subscriptions make millions of articles available to users at those institutions.

Professional/Trade Publications

Definition: Trade and professional journals are written by experts, but these are usually not people with PhDs who are working in academia; instead, they are experts who are employed in the trade or profession. They are written for experts, but again, the readers are not necessarily scholars; they are individuals working in that trade or profession. They are not peer reviewed or editorially reviewed; instead, they are more like magazines in that they have editors. They contain business or industry trends, techniques and information about products.

Where to Find:  You can find trade/professional publications at newsstands, book stores, grocery stores, etc. You can also find them in public and academic libraries, both in print and online.


Definition: A publication "issued at regular and usually close intervals, especially daily or weekly, and commonly containing news, comment, features, and advertising" (Newspaper, n.d., para. 1). 

Where to FindPrint newspapers are delivered to homes and libraries. Many newspapers have an online presence but access to older articles may require a subscription. Libraries can subscribe to newspaper databases.

(SUNY Empire State College, 2017)

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

NCSU Libraries. (2014, May 1). Peer review in 3 minutes [Video file]. Retrieved from ttps://

Scholarly Versus Popular Sources

Hartness Library. (2017, January 23). Popular vs. scholarly sources [Video file]. Retrieved from