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The Research Process

Journals and Magazines

An academic (also called scholarly or peer reviewed) journal is a scholarly publication which presents new research or critiques existing research. Most academic journals are peer-reviewed, which means that articles are reviewed by other scholars before being published. Scholarly journals can be published in print and/or electronic format. Examples of academic journals include Applied Petrochemical Research, International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education, and Journal of Dental Hygiene.

A trade or professional publication is a periodical written for people who work in a specific industry or field. It uses specialized language, presents current news and trends, includes advertising related to the field, and sometimes includes job postings. Trade magazines can be published in print and/or online format. Examples of trade or professional publications include Oil & Gas Journal, Machine Design, and Inside Dental Technology

A popular magazine includes articles written by non-specialists, or people outside of a specific industry or field. It uses general, easy language, presents current news and trends, may not mention sources in the text, and has extensive advertising, colorful pictures, and an eye-catching cover. Examples of popular magazines include Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, and Reader's Digest.

Scholarly and Popular Sources

Books and Ebooks

Books and ebooks can provide:

  •  focused, in-depth information on a subject
  •  information that is usually reliable and well-researched
  •  references to other sources you can use


Ebook databases at CNA-Q:


Newspapers are usually published daily or weekly, and contain news and feature articles, editorials or opinion columns, editorial cartoons, and advertisements. News content is usually written by journalists.