A periodical or serial is a publication that is published multiple times (periodically) on a regular schedule. Scholarly journals, popular magazines, trade publications, newspapers, and newsletters are examples of periodicals. These periodicals tend to target different audiences.
Periodicals will be helpful when you are seeking current information or more concise material than is generally found in books.
The sources that you select will depend on your specific assignment. Information from your professor (perhaps on your assigment, your syllabus, or directly from the professor) will tell you what types of resources will meet the parameters of the specific project. Please make sure that you consult the appropriate resources for the task.
Scholarly or academic resources are periodical articles written by subject experts who have conducted research or experimentation in a specific field. Many are written by faculty members or other academicians, discussing topics of recent research. They are often reviewed, refereed or juried by other experts in the field. These articles often contain subject specific language or terminology, and footnotes and/or bibliographies. The journals are normally printed on non-glossy paper.
Peer-Reviewed: articles written by scholars and reviewed by their colleagues who provide feedback and commentaries to the author prior to publication.
Refereed: Similar to peer-reviewed articles except the author doesn't necessarily know who reviewed the submitted work.
They provide you with excellent information!
Magazines are generally written by journalists, staff writers and guest writers and appeal to a general audience. Periodicals that are found at newstands and grocery stores are usually newspapers or magazines.
Primary sources, vary somewhat by discipline, but generally are considered to be original resources (first-hand or eyewitness accounts). They may include newspaper articles, letters, diaries, memoirs, some journals, photos, artifacts, research data, government documents, art work, and more.
Secondary sources (second-hand accounts) evaluate, analyze and/or interpret primary sources. Secondary sources may have pictures, quotes or graphics taken from primary sources. They include newspapers, magazines, and some academic journals.
Trade publications are periodicals geared toward practitioners in specific fields and generally focus on a particular trade or profession. The articles are usually written by a subject specialist and rarely provide footnotes and bibliographies.