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Whatever you read or view, you should always maintain a healthy skepticism about both its authority and reliability. A commercial publisher's editorial department provides a filter between you and the information it publishes to help ensure that it is authoritative and accurate. Libraries provide another filter with the process of selecting the published materials for that library's collection. Those filters in no way excuse you from evaluating what you see or read for yourself, but they do provide some insurance. Traditional information evaluation criteria are:
The primary purpose of these periodicals is to produce a profit for the publisher. Examples include Time, Newsweek, and People.
Available for public purchase at stores and newsstands
The primary purpose of these periodicals is to provide information in a general manner to a broad audience. Examples include Sports Illustrated, Fast Company, and Rolling Stone.
The primary purpose of trade journals is to provide news and information to people in a particular industry or profession. Examples include Women's Wear Daily, Hotel and Motel Management, Lodging, and Travel Weekly.
The primary purpose of scholarly journals is to inform and to report on original research or experimentation. Examples include New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Safety Research, Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Annals of Tourism Research.