Skip to Main Content
MATC Library logo

Article Source Types: Scholarly, Academic, Peer-reviewed & Other Sources

Definitions and examples of types of article sources.

Article Source Types

screenshot of left sidebar to refine results


Note: This is a broad overview of the types of articles you'll frequently see when searching the MATC Library website. Your instructor is the best guide as to whether a particular article is allowable for your research.




When you use Search All Library Materials with One Search, you'll see a list of results. On the left side of the screen, look for "Filter by Source Type." Checking one of the boxes limits your results to only that type of article.

So for example, to filter your results to only Academic Journals, under Filter by Source type, check Academic Journals.


Below are a list of common sources and short explanations of their characteristics.


Academic or Scholarly Journals 

Academic journals are also known as scholarly journals. 

Common features:

  • Focus on a particular subject area
  • Contain research studies written by experts in that field, with bibliographies and footnotes
  • Articles are often long and contain technical terms, minimal graphics, and limited advertising

picture of academic journal covers


screenshot of left sidebar with limit to scholarly peer reviewed journals



Many of these publications contain scholarly "peer-reviewed" articles. Peer-Reviewed articles have gone through additional oversight by fellow experts in the field to review accuracy and the use of proper research methods. To limit your results to Peer Reviewed sources, under Limit To, check Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.


News sources are newspapers. Newspapers are written for a broad audience.

Common features:

  • Provide most current information on a topic since new issues published daily; allows you to follow a topic as it develops over time
  • Articles written by journalists, not specialists or scholars and don't contain bibliographies. Checked by editors before publication
  • Articles often cover local or regional issues and are relatively short

picture of newspapers


Magazines are geared toward the general public and cover a variety of topics and current events. 

Common features:

  • Articles written generally by journalists or professional writers
  • Glossy paper with colorful, striking photography or artwork, advertisements for products of general interest
  • Most often published weekly or monthly, so information isn't as current as a newspaper
  • Usually don't contain bibliographies. Editors check the articles before publication

picture of magazine covers                                              

Trade or Professional Publications

Trade publications are also known as professional publications. Like scholarly or academic journals, they geared towards people in a particular profession, but with significant differences.

Common features:

  • Generally short articles (under four pages) on news in the field or summary of current research, may include short list of sources
  • Lots of pictures and artwork, attractive layout, advertisements for products geared to people in the industry
  • Articles written by experts in the field, contain some technical language, but not as complex as a scholarly publication

picture of trade magazine covers   


Reviews are book review articles. 

  • Short article providing a critical analysis and summary of a book's content
  • May help in deciding whether reading the book will aid your research, but reviews generally are not useful or acceptable by instructors as a source


Reports vary widely in their content and purpose.

  • Some are peer-reviewed analyses of current research on a topic or actual research studies. These generally can be considered scholarly/academic sources
  • Others are short updates on a topic of interest to a particular field and probably cannot be used as scholarly/academic sources


  Back to TOP