This guide describes some of the types of documents you may encounter during the research process. For information on how to cite these documents, see our Citing Information tutorial.
An article written by scholars in a style appropriate for scholars in the field, using language or jargon that assumes expertise in the field. The article has been approved for publication by other scholars in the field through a blind review process.
An article written in a style appropriate for other scholars in the field, using language or jargon that assumes expertise in the field. The article has not undergone the blind review process, but rather is selected for inclusion in the journal by the editor or editorial board.
An article written by staff writers or experts in the field in a style appropriate for members of a trade or professional organization using jargon that assumes expertise in the field. The article has not undergone the blind review process, but rather selected for inclusion in the journal by the editor or editorial board.
An article published on-line in a strictly virtual journal which may or may not be peer-reviewed. It is different from an article retrieved from an on-line database in that an on-line journal does not publish a physical copy of the journal.
An article written in a style appropriate for non-specialists, using language that requires no expertise in the field. It is usually written by a staff writer and does not have a bibliography.
A selection of articles brought together in a book or journal issue. These could be thematic (for instance, Clothing in the Early Renaissance, German Philosophy, Climate Change) or by a selected author or group of authors.
An article written by a journalist and published in a daily, weekly, or monthly newspaper. The content is typically more current than content in journal articles or books.
An article-length essay by a columnist, typically giving the columnist's opinion or perspective on a topic. Columns can often be found in a newspaper's Opinion or Editorial pages.
A published work of fiction or nonfiction which has typically undergone extensive editorial review.
A description and analysis of a book, usually one that has been published recently. The review may be written for other scholars in the field and published in a scholarly journal, or written for the public and published in a popular magazine or news source.
A group of essays or articles selected and edited by a single scholar or group of scholars. The edited book typically concerns one subject or time period. Chapters in an edited book, if they are scholarly in nature and contain citations and/or a bibliography, are similar to peer-reviewed journal articles.
A published collection of papers given at a conference or symposium. These articles may be summaries or further developed versions of talks or poster presentations from the conference, and are similar to peer-reviewed journal articles.
A document published by a company detailing financial or other business information. An internal report is typically less formal than an external report.
A qualitative report describing and evaluating a person or group of persons, an event, or a business model. Case studies are used in social science and business contexts to draw particular conclusions about single scenarios. Authors of case studies typically do not generalize their results, but generate questions for further study.
A published document describing technical or scientific research and results.
Statements of policy in government or business, or a document that intends to educate and guide the reader about a specific issue.