Library 103 Second Session
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| Library 103 Syllabus |
Introduction to Periodicals
Periodical - A publication issued at regular intervals (over a period of time) and intended to continue indefinitely. Magazines, journals, and newspapers are periodicals.
Magazine- A periodical that is usually paperbound that contains essays, stories, illustrations and advertising.
Journal - A periodical published for a group or a profession.
Newspaper - A periodical usually issued daily or weekly and contains news, commentaries, feature stories, and advertising.
The Periodicals List link is a listing of periodicals available in the COS LRC.
The Four Categories of Periodicals
Scholarly Journal - A periodical presenting academic learning and research; some, but not all scholarly journals may be peer reviewed ( also called refereed). Peer reviewed means that before the article is published, it is reviewed by a panel of peers that is, experts in the same field as the author. The panel examines the research methods; it does not mean that the topic itself is significant, only that the research methods are sound.
Substantive News or General Interest - The purpose of these periodicals is to provide information to a broad group of readers. These magazines are published by commercial publishers.
Popular - The purpose of these periodicals is to entertain their readers and to sell the products of their advertisers and/or to promote a specific point of view.
Sensational - The purpose of these periodicals is to appeal to the curiosity, credulity or naivety of their readers.
Scholarly and Non-Scholarly Periodicals
The Reference Service Division of the Cornell University Library has created a web page with more in-depth information on the above categories of periodicals giving characteristics of each type along with examples of magazines or journals in each group: Distinguishing Scholarly Journals from Other Periodicals. Magazines for Libraries (R016.05 Ka19)is a reference source in the COS Library for evaluating periodicals.
Commercial Indexes - Print and Electronic
To find an appropriate magazine/journal article, you need to use an index. Whether in print format or electronic format, indexes let you know what specific issue and page of what specific magazine/journal has an article on your topic (subject).
The COS Library has many print indexes: Index Title Holdings.
The COS Library has several online periodical indexes: Academic Electronic Databases.
Although these electronic indexes are in the web page format; they are commercial, subscription indexes which are paid for by the Library. They are available to COS students or other paid subscribers only.
Scholarly Journal Evaluation Guidelines
Blind referee process (Reviewed and selected by a panel of experts: the panel does not know who
the author is and the author doesn't know who is on the panel.)
Is advertising accepted?
If so, are there guidelines?
Where is the journal indexed?
Research Data - tables and/or graphs
Practitioner " How I...."
Letters to the Editor
Who would want to subscribe?
Which type of library should subscribe?
What information can you find out about the authors?
Are they researchers, academics, practitioners?
Does the author properly cite his sources?
Is a bibliography included?
"Authorities" must be properly identified and credentialed.
Academic, technical, readable for laypersons?
Is there an abstract/summary at the beginning of the article?
Is the publisher a professional organization or a university?
To fully evaluate a scholarly journal you should look at more that one issue. You should probably inspect at least all the issues for one year. Some information such as submission guidelines may only be printed in one issue a year.
___________________________________________________________________________________________ Prepared 3/20/01 from the following sources:
Woodward, Jeannette A. Writing Research Papers: investigating resources in cyberspace. 2nd ed.
Lincolnwood, Ill.: Contemporary Publishing, 1999.
Beck, Susan E. "Information Review #2:Scholarly Journal." Assignments, LSC311-02, Fall 2000.
16 Nov. 2000. New Mexico State University.
<http://lib.nmsu.edu/instruction/lsc311/02fall2000/assign.html> (20 Mar. 2001).
Information About Newspapers
A newspaper is a periodical with the mission of presenting and commenting on the news. There are basically three types of newspapers: Those published daily, those published weekly, and those published for special interests. Basic characteristics of newspapers are as follows:
Appear under the same title and editorship
Use non-durable newsprint paper
Are printed on presses with typeset
Paging is not consecutive; ends with the particular edition
On-line newspapers are also a reality. Most on-line newspapers are free, but many times the free articles are only available for a short period of time. Many charge for searching and downloading past articles in their archives.
Newspapers provide the following advantages over other media:
Usually cover more stories than other media
Usually cover the stories in more depth
Readers can absorb the news at their own pace
Provide information that only a few readers want such as obituaries, stock reports, want ads
Editorials and columns comment on controversial issues
In spite of the advantages of newspapers, newspapers are decreasing. The high cost of labor and newsprint and distribution problems along with competition from the other media and the Internet have driven some newspapers out of business. As a result very few American cities have more than one daily paper. Those newspapers with increased circulation are national in scope such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, rather than regional.
Another trend is toward ownership of daily newspapers by large chains such as the Times Mirror Company and the Tribune Company. Family owned newspapers with circulations over 300,000 are becoming very rare.
Not even the largest newspapers can afford to have reporters in every large city in the United States and the World, so newspapers rely on what are called News Services for their foreign and some of the national coverage. News Services have reporters stationed worldwide. The primary U. S. new services are the Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI). With the cutting back of staff to save money, more and more newspapers depend on these services. As a result, there is less in-depth and more uniformity of coverage.
The exception to these trends has been weekly ethnic newspapers, which are experiencing increased revenue and circulation. The largest growth has been in Hispanic weeklies.
The New York Times is known as "the newspaper of record," because it has included the full text of important speeches and official documents and also because of the completeness and quality of its news coverage.
The Pulitzer Prize in Journalism is awarded for articles published in newspapers and commend high standards in writing and reporting. To find out more information about the history and recipients of the Prize, you can go to the link: The Pulitzer Prizes.
Some basic newspaper terms to remember:
Headline - is the title or caption of a newspaper article usually appearing in large type.
Banner - is the top headline on page 1
By-line - is the name of the writer of a story usually appearing under the headline.
Lead - is the opening paragraph of a story summarizing the most important parts of the story (who, when ,where, why).
Dateline - is the line at the beginning of a news story that tells where and when the story originated.
Editorial - is an article in a publication expressing the opinion of the editor or publisher.
Newspapers vary widely in quality and coverage. The news items included depend on the editorial policy of the individual paper and the area where the paper is published.
For additional information about newspapers, complete the tutorial: How to Read a Newspaper, developed by librarians at Pennsylvania State University.
Electronic and Print Newspaper Indexes
The COS Library also has available an Newsbank Inc. online index to the Fresno Bee. and ProQuest Los Angles Times, ProQuest National Newspaper Core . The SIRS database also provides full-text articles for a large number of newspapers.
For COS students there are two main advantages for using these online indexes/databases over the specific newspaper webpage: 1. Usually the searching software is more precise. 2. The cost of printing the article is much less.
The newspaper print indexes that the COS Library carries are listed at the link: Index Titles Holdings.
The newspapers that the COS Library carries are listed at the link: Newspaper Titles
Local Sources of Information
Non-profit organizations may be a good source for local information, perspectives, and statistics. The United Way publishes the Tulare County Community Resources Directory providing contact information for helping organizations in this area.
Date Last Updated:11/16/11
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