A periodical is a work that is published on a regular basis. Newspapers, which are generally published daily, are one example. Magazines and Journals, which might be published weekly, monthly, or quarterly also fall under the category of periodicals. These different types of periodicals may have different audiences and the topics covered can vary significantly, but one thing they all have in common is that they are all published on a recurring ('periodical') basis.
Instructors often require that students use a variety of periodical articles in their research.
A key to finding periodical (newspaper, magazine, and journal) articles is learning to use electronic databases to search for articles on a particular topic. The electronic databases act as an index to hundreds of different periodicals by subject, author, or title.
Examples of Periodicals
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The Arizona Republic is an example of one type of periodical: the newspaper. The Arizona Republic is a local periodical, meaning its focus surrounds the interests of people living in a particular place. It is published daily, while some newspapers have multiple printings in one day, e.g., a morning and an evening edition. Most newspapers are also available in an electronic format (online), though some require a subscription to access.
Time is a periodical, a magazine, that is published nationally, on a weekly basis. Time covers a variety of topics; is printed in various languages, and reaches audiences across the world. It is also available online.
Communication Quarterly is an example of a scholarly journal. Published quarterly, or every three months, this peer reviewed periodical focuses on issues of importance to scholars in the communication field. A scholarly, or peer reviewed, publication is a periodical that covers one area of interest; its articles are written by authors considered experts in their field, and it often has the latest research on a particular topic. Instructors often require that their students cite scholarly articles in their research papers.