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BUS 246 -- Management Principles -- Spring 2023: Types of Literature

Types of Literature

Characteristics          Scholarly Journal Professional/Trade

Popular Magazine/Newspapers

Length Articles are usually 10 pages or more in length; providing in-depth analysis of topics Shorter articles (less than 10 pages), providing broader overview of topics Shorter articles (less than 10 pages), providing broader overview of topics
Written by Author usually an expert or specialist in the field, name and credentials always provided Typically written by people working in the field or by staff writers with expertise in the field Author usually a journalist or a staff writer, name and credentials often not provided
Language/Written for Written in technical language for professors, researchers, students of the field Written in the jargon of the field for practitioners in the field Written at high school level for the general public
Coverage Original research results and scholarship Typically discuss practical applications; cover news in the field; may present brief research results but generally doesn't present original research or theories; includes opinions about trends, events, and industry/forecasts; reports on problems or issues  Popular topics and current events
Slant Usually presents objective/neutral viewpoint Written in the jargon of the field for practitioners in the field May reflect the editorial bias/slant of the magazine
Frequency Usually quarterly. Some might be monthly Varied Usually weekly
Format/Structure Articles usually structured, may include: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, bibliography Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure Articles do not necessarily follow a specific format or structure
Special Features Illustrations that support the text, such as, tables of statistics, graphs, diagrams, maps, or photographs Professional or trade-specific advertisements Illustrations, many with color photographs. Magazines generally printed on glossy paper
Appearance Serious and sober, reserved use of color and few or no advertisements Some illustrations for aesthetic purposes Magazines usually printed on glossy paper. Newspapers generally printed on thinner paper stocks
Editors Articles usually reviewed and critically evaluated by a board of experts in the field (known as refereed or peer-reviewed) Reviewed by editors on staff Reviewed by editors on staff
References Cited Usually includes a bibliography a reference list  and/or footnotes Usually has no bibliography or footnotes Few or no references or footnotes

Academy of Management Journal

Journal of Business Ethics

Journal of Management

Professional Manager


Training Journal


New York Times

Wall Street Journal


Evaluating What You Find: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The following four criteria can help you to evaluate your sources:

Authority--Who is the author? What is his expertise? Who is the publisher?
Accuracy--Is it well-researched? Is there a bibliography or references so you can locate the original source of the information? Do the facts jive with other sources?
Objectivity--Is there bias? Is the information promoting a specific point of view or is it objective?
Currency--Is the information up-to-date? Is it too dated to be useful?

Thinking about any type of publication, including websites, in this way will help ensure that you have located the best information available.


A Word about Books

A Word of Warning!! Just because the library owns a book, it doesn't mean the book qualifies as academic. Use the hints below and in the chart to determine if the book is scholarly/ academic or popular.

Most of the items in the chart can also apply to books. Ask some of the following questions:

Who is the author and is s/he an expert? Read the book jacket or information often located in the beginning or end of the book. Try Google or Amazon to see what else the author might have written and to check his affiliation. Check the online catalog to see if the library has other items written by the author.

Who is the publisher? Do they have a specialty? University presses, some societies, and some associations usually publish academic titles, but some other publishers do as well. Visit their website to see their focus.

Is there a bibliography, references or footnotes?

What is the language of the book? Is it technical or is it for the general public.

Is it well-organized with a clear structure? Does it have a preface, a table of contents, an introduction, an index?