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Journal Guide

Journals A-Z

Journals and Magazines

What is a periodical?

The term "periodical" refers to a publication that is published at regular intervals. Periodicals include magazines, scholarly journals, newspapers and newsletters.


Magazines are a type of periodical in which articles are usually focused on news or topics of popular interest. They use easy language, are colourful and often contain advertising. Articles are frequently written by professional writers. Magazine articles are not intended for a scholarly audience and are therefore not peer-reviewed.

Professional or Trade Journals

Professional or trade journals are intended for professional development. They usually contain practical information aimed at a particular audience. Articles are often written by experts or professional researchers, but these publications are not usually peer-reviewed.

Scholarly/Academic/Peer-Reviewed Journals

Scholarly/academic/peer-reviewed journals contain original research, experimentation or in-depth analysis of a topic. Articles are written by professional researchers, using specialized language. Articles tend to be lengthy, and often contain an "abstract" (a short summary of the article).  Sources are cited, with footnotes and/or a bibliography at the end of the article. Articles in this type of publication are frequently peer-reviewed. 


Frequently, articles in scholarly publications are "peer-reviewed" or "refereed". This means that manuscripts considered for publication in the journal are sent to independent experts in that particular field. These experts consider the quality of research, reliability of findings, and relevance to the broader field of research prior to publication.

Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

When searching databases, it is often possible to restrict the search to "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" articles. 

You can check whether a journal is peer-reviewed using the Library's A-Z List of journals. Simply type in the name of the journal and select "Go". If the journal is available at NSCAD. it will appear in the results list. Simply click the red circled i (for information) at the bottom of the list, and it will say whether or not the journal is peer-reviewed. Please note that this will only work for journals held in NSCAD Library's collection. 

If you have a journal in hand, and are wondering if it is peer-reviewed, you can check the edition statement or instructions to authors (frequently found in the first or last few pages of a journal).  You can also check the publisher's website. It's not always evident whether or not a particular journal is peer-reviewed - if uncertain, please ask!

If you have any questions about searching databases, or whether a journal is peer-reviewed, please contact Detta Morrison-Phillips (902-494-8255).