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Legal Research and Types of Periodical Literature


During legal research when one wants up-to-date information on a topic, it becomes mandatory to refer to the latest periodicals and journals. But then there are different categories of these periodicals each with a distinct character and level of information. When using online or offline resources from major libraries one must be aware of the different levels of scholarship associated with the different categories of periodicals. The basic four types of categories are,

  • Scholarly journals
  • Substantive,
  • News/General Interest
  • Popular
  • Sensational

The word scholarly is mainly concerned with research and academic study, and has the attitude and characteristics of a scholar. It is often accompanied by an abstract or a summary of the article. Scholarly journals

  • are written by scholars
  • have the purpose of reporting original research
  • always cite sources
  • always list the author’s credentials
  • have a serious look with very few flashy pictures
  • use a disciplinary style of language

While substantive periodicals are publications meant for an educated audience they contain illustrations and photographs and are made to look attractive with the objective to provide information in a general manner. Information got from a popular magazine is always second or third hand and will never cite the source. Sensational publications assume certain gullibility in their audience and often use inflammatory language.

While doing legal research it would be best to get a reference book that describes and evaluates all the periodicals in a library. Managed Outsource Solutions is a US based legal outsourcing company that offers services like legal research, litigation support, legal transcription, legal coding, legal web design, legal animation for clients in the US, Canada the UK and Australia

About Rajeev R

Rajeev R

Manages the day-to-day operations of MOS from NY. With an interest in information technology, Rajeev has guided MOS to extensive use of digital technology and the internet that benefits MOS as well as MOS clients.