According to the University of North Carolina Libraries, a periodical is defined as "a magazine, journal, newsletter, or newspaper produced on a regular basis." A regular basiscould mean the periodical is issued daily (like most newspapers), weekly or monthly (like most magazines) or even every two or three months (some journals). This means a periodical could be a daily newspaper like the Seattle Times or the Washington Post; a magazine that is issued weekly like Time, the New Yorker, or Sports Illustrated; a monthly magazine such as National Geographic or Popular Photography, or scholarly journals such as the American Journal of Archaeology (every three months) or Sociology of Health and Illness (seven times a year).
Using Periodicals in Research
(The following is taken from the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University)
Newspapers can be useful to you for the following reasons:
Magazine articles can be useful to you for the following reasons:
Journal articles are used when you are expected to use articles from scholarly journals (sometimes referred to as peer-reviewed or refereed journals) as sources for research papers. Here are some characteristics of scholarly journal articles that make them highly useful as sources for academic papers:
A common way to find journal articles on your topic is to search article indexes. These can be printed indexes or online databases. Some provide the full text of articles; some provide just citations and abstracts.
For periodicals, the title of them can sometimes be confusing. For example, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, School Psychology Review , and the Pacific Historical Review are all scholarly journals. However, Ladies Home Journal and Library Journal are actually magazines, and the Wall Street Journal is a newspaper. So, just because a periodical has the word "journal" in the title doesn't mean it is actually a scholarly journal, and there are a lot of periodicals without the word "journal" in the title that are actually scholarly journals. How can you tell if it is a scholarly journal, a magazine, or a newspaper? The "What Is A Periodical" column to your left points out some differences.