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Magazines & Journals

Introduction

Different document types offer varying levels of evidence to a reader, and a good place to start that discussion is with a comparison between articles from popular magazines and scholarly journals.

Sometimes an instructor will require that the students consult only academic or scholarly journals. The Grace Library's search box yields results from both magazines and journals. It is important to be able to distinguish an article from a journal from an article from a magazine. 

Magazine vs. Journals: Consider Your Sources

Features

Magazine

Journal

AUDIENCE

The general public

Experts in a particular field

STYLE

Written for the average reader

Written for experts using professional jargon

EDITING

Edited by magazine staff

Often peer-reviewed (reviewed by a panel of experts in the field)

CONTENTS

Reports on current events and general interest items

Usually presents original research in a specialized field

COVERAGE

Articles are usually short, giving an overview of a topic

Focus of articles is usually narrow and in-depth

AUTHORS

Journalists, laypersons, sometimes no author is given

Experts in the field; author credentials are given

SOURCES

Sources are usually not cited

Sources always cited; bibliographies given

APPEARANCE

Glossy and colorful; lots of graphics and photographs

Serious looking; often have charts and graphs but few photographs

ADS

Lots of ads, often in color

Few ads, if any

EXAMPLES

Time or Bloomberg Businessweek

Clinical Nursing Research or Journal of Abnormal Psychology