A large portion of the Library’s collection consists of journals and journal articles, which may be available in a variety of formats. The Library subscribes to a large number of electronic databases, many of which enable you to access the full-text of a vast range of articles from scholarly journals, trade publications, and newspapers. In addition, we have access to some journal titles in print or microform. Journals, newspapers and magazine are often referred to as periodicals or serials. For help locating particular journal titles or articles, visit the links below.


Journals are ongoing publications issued with the same title (usually), on a regular or periodic basis, with no expected end to their publication (e.g. newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, annual reports).

Articles are contained in journals and contain specific information on particular aspects of a topic. Since journal articles are usually published more frequently and more quickly than books, they can be a good source for the very latest available information on a topic. (Books usually cover a broader range of topics much more thoroughly, but depending on their publication date and how rapidly knowledge in a particular field changes, the information they contain is sometimes dated.)

Defining Types of Journals

What is a Scholarly Journal?

Scholarly journals contain articles written by experts in their field of study. Readership is comprised of professionals or academic researchers. Scholarly journals contain original research, research methodology, or theory. The focus is a single discipline or academic field. Many scholarly journals are peer reviewed or refereed by independent reviewers. There is an official editorial process that requires the article submitted for publication is reviewed and assessed by experts in the subject area before they are published. Not all scholarly journals require a peer review process.

What is a Popular Journal/Magazine?

Popular magazines contain general news and information sources covering a broad subject area, intended for a general audience. The authors are usually staff writers or freelance journalists and writers working for the magazine. Magazine articles in popular journals are usually written for a general audience and articles focus on topics of popular or current interest. Magazines often contain photographs, illustrations and advertisements.

What is a Trade Publication?

Trade publications contain articles written for a specialized audience. There are trade publications that focus on the automotive industry, law enforcement, service industries, hobbies and collectables. They contain advertisements for products and services specifically for the topic of the publication.

What is a Newspaper?

Newspapers have been published for hundreds of years.  They can be issued daily, weekly or monthly. They contain news of the day, editorial comment, maybe regular columns and features, letters to the editor, cartoons, advertising, obituaries/death notices and social events. While today, many newspapers make their content available online, there may be different or additional content available in print versus online editions of the same title.

MacPhaidin Library provides informational resources that support the College's academic programs. Its goal is to provide faculty and students with the material and services needed for effective teaching, learning and research.