I often encounter the expression "trade journal", but what is it exactly, and how does it differ from "academic journal" or "scholarly journal" or "scientific journal"?

1 Answer 1


From Virginia Tech Libraries:

Trade journals are geared towards professionals in a discipline. They report news and trends in a field, but not original research. They may provide product or service reviews, job listings, and advertisements.

Scholarly journals provide articles of interest to experts or researchers in a discipline. An editorial board of respected scholars (peers) reviews all articles submitted to a journal. They decide if the article provides a noteworthy contribution to the field and should be published. There are typically little or no advertisements. Articles published in scholarly journals will include a list of references.

  • Yes. I would consider Physics Today to be a trade journal, while Physical Review is a scholarly journal. While Physics Today has articles they are overviews for the general community (albeit technical), not original research. Chemical Engineering News, Semiconductor Today, and what not are similar examples of trade journals.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 14:25
  • would Quanta or Nautilus be considered as trade journals? Also the science section of NYT or Telegram?
    – Ooker
    Commented Dec 18, 2015 at 14:41

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