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Differences Between Journals and Magazines

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Scholarly journals are often referred to as peer reviewed or referred journals. They are geared toward experts and researchers in the academic or professional community. Popular magazines do not undergo peer review.  They are frequently written for a general audience.  The table below outlines the differences between journals and magazines.

  Popular Magazines Scholarly Journals 
("peer reviewed" or "refereed publications")
(what does it look
glossy paper, advertisements mostly text No glossy pages. May have graphs or charts but few photos
(who is it for?)
average person, no in-depth knowledge of the topic researchers, professionals
(who wrote the articles?) 
reporters, staff writers, freelancers. Often no author's name is given. experts and scholars in a particular field
(who screened these articles?)
articles are evaluated by editors Articles reviewed by experts and scholars
(how long is it?) 
shorter articles, non-technical, easy-to-read  Articles are usually longer with in-depth analysis. Highly technical language
(why was it published?)
to inform, entertain, sell advertising to present results of original or latest research to professionals or scholars in a particular field
usually NO  YES
Examples Newsweek, Psychology Today, Business Week  Journal of the American Medical Association, Science, Child Development


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