Answered By: Priscilla Coulter
Last Updated: Jul 20, 2017     Views: 678

A periodical is a publication that issues articles, etc. periodically throughout the year (hence the name!).  You may be most familiar with periodicals like magazines, newspapers and journals.

Journals are often issued monthly, but might be published only a few times per year.  Magazines are often published weekly or monthly, while newspapers usually go to press daily.  

Each time a periodical publishes, it contains a unique set of new articles -- no two issues will be exactly alike.

Each periodical issue is numbered, and all of the issues for a year are part of a volume, which is also given a number.   That's why, when you cite a specific article from a journal, magazine or newspaper, you must include the volume and issue number.   It helps your reader find it more quickly, in case they'd like to read it for themselves.

Browse the issues in these periodicals!

Journal Magazine Newspaper
The Lion and the Unicorn journal cover Newseek magazine cover New York Times image
You can see all of the periodicals available in our library by using Find a JournalSearch by periodical title or browse by subject.


Has your instructor asked you to stick to scholarly or peer-reviewed journals?   See:  What does peer-reviewed mean?


See also:  Where do I find all of the information I need to cite an article?