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.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills for Healthcare Professionals: Information Sources

This guide is designed to help students in NURS 20010 learn about library resources and information literacy important to nurses and healthcare workers.

Differences Between Information Sources

Book Scholarly Journal Professional/Trade Magazine Newspaper Web Site
Purpose Many purposes from self-help to detailed research Detailed research usually for a specific discipline Practical information to help reader become better at his/her job or profession To inform general public of current events, popular culture, or entertainment Similar to Magazine with focus usually on local interests Defined by the web site creator(s) (can be misleading)
Publisher Commercial publishing houses and university presses Scholarly associations and commercial publishers Professional associations and commercial publishers Commercial publishers Commercial publishers Web site creator(s)
Frequency Once (although some books have revised editions at unpredictable intervals) Yearly, quarterly, or monthly (usually less frequent than magazines) Usually monthly Monthly or weekly Daily Whenever the creator(s) get around to updating
Author(s) Varies from professional writers to experts in specific disciplines Scholars/experts in the discipline covered by the journal Staff writers or invited guest writers Staff writers/correspondents Staff writers/correspondents and external news sources (AP, Reuters, etc.) Web site creator(s)
Review Process Authors submit manuscripts to publisher (sometimes through a literary agent) Rigorous review of submitted manuscript by editorial boards of other experts in the discipline Staff editors review staff or guest articles Articles reviewed by staff editors Articles reviewed by staff editors No review process
Time to Publish Lengthy 2-3 years or longer Less time than books but can still be 1-2 years (or possibly longer) Staff writers usually have articles for each issue (months or less) Staff writers usually have articles for each issue (months or less) Constant writing stream, short time between article creation and publication However long it takes creator(s) to create content
Content Style and Length Divided by chapters can be very long (hundreds of pages) Systematic presentation of content. Articles are longer than other periodicals, about 10 pages Less formal style than scholarly  journal, includes book reviews, job announcements Style is informal/journalistic to attract readers, length is typically short with very short accompanying inserts Simple presentation of facts and information, short in length Depends on the creator(s)
Audience Varies depending on purpose (general public to experts/students in a specific discipline) Scholars/experts and students in the discipline Professionals/members of the professional/trade assoiciation General public General public Anyone with a computer and internet connection
Illustrations and Advertisements Depends on purpose (can include detailed illustrations, charts, tables, photos, etc.). No advertisements Most illustrations represent data discussed in articles (tables, charts, etc.). Few, if any advertisements More design elements (photos, etc.) than scholarly journal. Advertisements related to trade/profession Proliferation of design elements and advertisement for general audience Less design than magazines (many photos) with advertisements targeted for the general reader Depends on the creator(s) can include annoying pop up advertisements