Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

BIOL 128 Research Guide: Source Evaluation/APA Style

APA Citation Style Links

Resources to help you use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style:

Popular vs. Scholarly vs. Trade Literature

In the research databases, there are tools that help you filter your article search specifically for the source formats of scholarly journals, magazines or newspapers. Still it is helpful to know the characteristics of the periodical literature you will encounter either in print or online as you do research. Of course information from scholarly journals is the best for academic research!


Professional Journals

Popular Magazines
(and Newspapers)

Article Type

In-depth research articles, often peer-reviewed; usually includes an abstract; may be brief news of developments in the field or recent research, academic book reviews

Brief, nontechnical, current events, news; quick facts; short interviews, brief book reviews, ads


To provide information about, report, or present original research or experiments

To provide general information to, entertain, or persuade the general public


Clearly defined; experts with significant knowledge in the subject area, scholars, and researchers

Not always identified; staff writers


Professors, researchers, and students, members of association; other professionals in the field



Typically a university or professional association

Typically commercial

Writing Style

Formal or semiformal; scholarly language; may use technical or specialized language

Informal; language is easy to understand


Footnotes or endnotes; bibliography; suggested resources for more information



May include tables, graphs, charts, or equations to support the research

Often includes glossy photographs, ads, images


Sloan Management Review, Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, Journal of Computer Information Systems, Journal of American History

Time, Newsweek, Business Week, Psychology Today, PC World, Washington Post