Scope: This guide supplements the Identifying Periodical Types guide which explains how to identify different types of periodicals. Different types of periodicals present different levels of scholarship and expertise and knowing what type you are examining allows you to more effectively evaluate the information contained within. This guide outlines how to use a database tool, Ulrich's, to help you. Email the subject area specialist at libues [at] umd.edu for more information.
If, after examining the characteristics of different types of periodicals in the guide Identifying Periodical Types you are still not sure what type of publication you are looking at, Ulrich's can help:
- Go to
via Research Port.
This is a bibliographic database that provides information on periodicals and is available online through Research Port.
NOTE: If you are off-campus, you will be prompted to log in to Research Port with your directory ID and password.
Type in the name of the publication in the search box.
Clicking the icon in the upper right hand corner of the results page (just above "Change Columns") will bring up a legend which indicates, among other things, the symbol that will be associated with any publication that is "refereed". Refereed, also known as "peer reviewed," indicates that the articles are written by experts and reviewed by experts before the articles are published. This is a characteristic of a scholarly journal:
If the name of the publication has a symbol which indicates it is refereed, it is a scholarly journal:
If it doesn't have a refereed symbol, then you know it is either a trade publication or a popular (consumer) magazine. To discover which one, click on the title of the periodical:
When the record opens, look for the field labeled "Document Type". The following designation indicates that the periodical is a trade publication:
This designation indicates that the publication is a popular magazine: