Magazines vs. Journals - How are they different?
Listed below are some clues to help distinguish between journals and magazines. Sometimes, the line between the two publication types becomes blurred-especially when they are published on the Web. And remember, just because the term "journal" is used in the title (e.g., Ladies Home Journal) doesn't mean it is a scholarly publication.
|AUTHOR*||Journalist or layperson. Sometimes author is not named.||Expert (scholar, professor, researcher, etc.) Author nearly always named.|
|NOTES*||Few or no references or notes||Usually includes notes and/or bibliography|
|STYLE||Journalistic; written for the average reader||Uses technical or specialized language; written by experts for experts.|
|EDITING*||Reviewed by one or more persons employed by magazine||Usually reviewed by an editorial board of outside scholars ("peer-reviewed" or "jury-reviewed")|
|AUDIENCE||For the general public||For scholars or researchers in the field|
|ADS||Many, often in color||Few or none; if any, usually for books or professional materials|
|LOOK||Glossy, many pictures in color||More sedate look; mostly text|
|FREQUENCY||Usually weekly or monthly||Usually monthly or quarterly|
|CONTENTS||Current events; general interest||News and research from the field|
A journal cannot be defined by one or two features, nor do all features have to be present to make it a journal. Look for a majority of the traits listed above (those with an * are the most important). If in doubt, ask your instructor or a librarian.