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Evaluating the authority, usefulness, and reliability of the information you find is a crucial step in the process of library research. The questions you ask about books, periodical articles, multimedia titles, or Web pages are similar whether you're looking at a citation to the item, a physical item in hand, or an electronic version on a computer.
Distinguishing Scholarly from Other Periodicals shows how to evaluate periodicals by looking at their format, intended audience, and appearance.
Journals vs. Magazines Journals
Are published to disseminate information; very subject specific
Usually published monthly or quarterly
Articles are footnoted and have bibliographies
Examples: Journal of the American Medical Association, Childhood Education
Are published primarily to make a profit for the publisher
Usually published weekly or monthly
Rarely contain footnotes or bibliographies
Examples: Time, Sports Illustrated, Readers Digest