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Types of Resources in Databases: Periodicals

Most of the databases that the CCC Library subscribes to contain full-text periodical articles. Articles in periodicals can be good sources of current information which may not yet be available in books or reference sources. 

What is a Periodical?

A periodical is a term for any publication that is issued periodically. That means it comes out in regular issues on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. For example, a newspaper like the Oakland Tribune is a periodical that is published daily. Magazines like Vogue or GQ are examples of periodicals that are published monthly. 


Types of Periodicals

Often, the terms magazinejournal, and periodical are used interchangeably. However, it is important to identify what type of periodical an article is from so that it can be properly cited. Specific types of periodicals are described below:


Type Characteristics Examples
  • Scholarly or professional focus
  • Written by experts in the field for a specialized audience
  • Include footnotes and bibliographies
  • Few illustrations, long articles, few or no advertisements
collage of journal covers
  • Popular in nature
  • Written by reporters for a general audience
  • Usually no footnotes or bibliography
  • usually include advertisements
collage of magazine covers
  • published daily or weekly
  • up to the minute news items
  • may have local, regional, or national focus
  • advertisements
Sacramento Bee Newspaper
Chapter 4 — Page 7