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Master of Business Administration (MBA)

This is the library research guide designed to assist MBA graduate students in the completion of assignments and projects.

Identifying Sources Infographic

Differences Between Scholarly, Trade and Other Article Types

The New England Journal of Medicine cover

Primary Purpose:  to inform and report on original research or experimentation.

Authors: often are researchers, academics, etc. who have conducted research in the field and are usually affiliated with a university or research center. Authors' credentials are usually listed at the beginning or at the end of the articles.

Audience: usually written for other scholars or college students who are assumed to have some knowledge of the field and to be familiar with the jargon

Editorial or Review Process: Before an article is accepted for publication in a journal, it is first reviewed by scholars or researchers in the field. Often, this is through a rigorous review process called Peer-Review which can take months to years to complete.

Other Common Features:

  • Usually published by an academic publisher, professional association, or university. 
  • Editors are usually scholars in the field with established reputations
  • Illustrations, if any, are usually graphs or charts, with few color graphics or photographs
  • Articles are lengthy and extensively document research methods and findings with all references provided in footnotes, end notes, or bibliography/reference page.
  • Authors write in the academic language of their discipline
  • Articles usually have some common sections that may vary depending on the type of research conducted or the field, such as the abstract (summary), introduction or literature review section, methods section, findings sections, conclusion section, reference or bibliography section. 

Examples: New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Safety Research, Journal of Studies on Alcohol, and Annals of Tourism Research.

Travel Weekly cover

Primary Purpose: to provide news and information to people in a particular industry or profession. Trade articles focus on practical topics of interest to practitioners/professionals. 

Authors: usually practitioners or educators within the industry or profession

Audience: professionals or practitioners in a particular field.

Editorial or Review Process: editorial staff, which selects the articles, consists mainly of individuals with experience or education within the industry or profession

Other Common Features:

  • Can be published by for-profit corporations, but are often published by a professional association
  • Articles rarely report original research, but excellent sources of statistical information about the industries they cover
  • Articles often are illustrated with color graphics and photographs similar in nature to the popular magazines
  • Journals often include employment announcements for job vacancies within the industry or profession
  • Articles may not be extensively documented, providing few footnotes and rarely including bibliographies
  • Advertisements are for industrial or specialized products and are aimed at people in that industry or profession

Examples: Women's Wear Daily, Hotel and Motel Management, Lodging, and Travel Weekly

Popular & General Interest Magazine Articles

Primary Purpose: designed to persuade, to entertain, and to sell advertised products. Depending on the magazine, they might also provide information in a general manner to a broad audience.

Authors: written by freelance writers or members of the magazine's staff who may or may not have subject matter expertise.

Audience: written to entertain and/or inform the general public

Editorial or Review Process: Not peer reviewed or reviewed by subject matter experts. May be fact checked and edited by magazine staff. 

Other Common Features:

  • Available for public purchase at stores and newsstands
  • The articles are short and entertaining. May also consist of brief summaries of research done by others
  • Seldom include sources of information
  • Articles often are illustrated with color graphics and photographs
  • Language of articles geared to any educated audience, no subject expertise assumed
  • No peer review process

Examples: Time, Newsweek, People, Sports Illustrated, Fast Company, and Rolling Stone

Newspaper Articles

Primary Purpose: to provide information on current events to a general audience.

Authors: written by staff journalists, editorial staff, or freelance writers, who may or may not have subject expertise

Audience: General public. Language of articles geared to any educated audience, no subject expertise assumed

Editorial or Review Process: No peer review process, but fact-checked and edited by editorial staff.

Other Common Features:

  • Sources are sometimes cited, but more often there are no footnotes or bibliography
  • Articles may consist of brief summaries of research done by others or include expert opinions, testimony, or interviews

Examples: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Columbus Dispatch

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