Comparing Magazines and Journals

Comparing Magazines and Journals

Find out if a journal is refereed!

Your instructor may require that you find and cite scholarly, "peer-reviewed" journals. Peer-reviewed (or refereed) means that the article has been screened for publication by other scholars in the field. The table below shows how magazines and journals differ.

 

 

Magazines

Journals

Audience

General public, hobbyists, or fans

Targeted audience of scholars or professionals

Purpose

To provide news, entertainment, or recreational reading

To present new research findings to professionals or scholars in a particular field

Authors

Authors are not always named; usually staff or freelance writers

Authors are listed with their credentials; typically experts, professionals, or university scholars

Review

Articles selected by an editor or editorial board

Articles are "peer-reviewed," or approved for publication by a panel of experts

Publisher

Commercially published

Often issued by a university or professional association

Frequency

Usually weekly or monthly

Usually monthly or quarterly

Advertising

Abundant advertising that is often glossy and eye-catching

Advertising, if any, is usually professional and related to the field

Language

Conversational style using common vernacular

Specialized or technical language of the field is used

Layout

Informal, highly visual layout that can vary from one article to the next

Formal structure, often with standard section headings (Introduction, Methods, etc.)

References

Sources are rarely used, articles lack a bibliography

Articles always include a complete list references, often extensive