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Structure of Scholarly Articles and Peer Review: Compare Types of Journals

Explains the standard parts of a medical research article, compares characteristics of types of journals, and shows how to find peer reviewed articles and journals.

Created by Health Science Librarians

Compare Types of Journals


Scholarly Journals

Professional Trade Journals

Newsstand Magazines


Researchers and experts

Members of the Trade/Profession

General Public


Researchers and experts

Staff writers and members of the profession

Staff writers, articles often written by groups, sometimes corporations


Always. Plus footnotes or endnotes; suggested resources for more information

Sometimes a brief bibliography, variable by profession, no footnotes or endnotes

Almost never


Publishers of scholary journals, a university press, or  a professional association

Typically associations or commercial groups

Typically commercial


Formal or semiformal scholarly language; may use jargon or technical terms that assum expertise in the field

Informal; may use technical or specialized jargon

Informal; written at or below the reading level of average high school students


Research reports and commentary

Trends, new technologies, workplace standards in the field

General interest and news


To disseminate findings from original research or experiments

To advance profession by covering issues and topics in the field

To inform and entertain


Good - the articles undergo blind reviews by other scholars

Average - articles undergo reviews, but articles are sometimes biased to support industry/vendors

Average to Fair - deadlines mean content review is limited, stories sometimes come from "third parties" where review is very difficult