Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

Scholarly General Interest Popular Sensational
Examples JAMA, American Economic Review, Economist, The Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American Parents, Time, Vogue The Globe,The Star, National Enquirer
Format Sober, serious look. Contain graphs, charts, few glossy or exciting pictures. Articles are often heavily illustrated, contain photographs. Usually slick and attractive in appearance. Lots of graphics, photos. Often in a cheap newspaper format with modified pictures.
Audience Assumes a high level background of the reader. Reader is assumed to have a high level knowledge of the topic. Uses the jargon of the discipline. Articles are usually short, written in simple language, designed to meet a minimal education level. Deal with popular or trendy topics. They assume a certain gullibility in their audience. Language is basic, and occassionally inflammatory or sensational
Purpose Main purpose is to report original research or experiments in order to make them available to the rest of the scholarly world. Main purpose is to provide information in a general manner to a broad audience. Main purpose is to entertain the reader, to sell products, and to promote a viewpoint. Main purpose is to arouse curiosity, and to cater to popular superstitions.
Sources Always include citations or bibliographies. Sometimes will cite sources, usually do not. Rarely, if ever, cite sources. Rarely, if ever, cite sources. Sources difficult to verify.
Authors Articles are written by a scholar in the field or someone who has done research. Author may be a staff writer, a scholar, or a professional writer or journalist. Authors are journalists and freelance writers. Credentials not listed. May be journalists, reporters, editors and others.
Publisher Many, but not all are published by a specific professional organization or university press. Generally published by a commercial enterprise. Commercial or private corporation. Commercial or private corporation. readers.