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What's the difference between a magazine and a journal?

Last Updated: Jan 17, 2017  |  4959 Views

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There are several differences between magazines and journals.  Here are a few:

  1. Authorship.  Magazine articles may be written by journalists or professional writers.  Journal articles are written by subject experts.  Magazines are also edited by journalists rather than peer reviewed by scholars.
  2. Audience.  Magazines are written for a general audience; whereas, journals are written for a professional or college-level audience.
  3. Content.  Directly related to 1 & 2, magazine articles are easier to read and may contain more opinion-based or entertaining material.  Since journal articles are written by and for experts, they contain more technical language and are college-level.  Journal articles usually contain information about a specific research study that was done, and would include the methodology used and the conclusions found. Magazines usually contain more ads than journals, as well.
  4. References.  Just as students are required to list the source material they used for a research paper, scholarly journal articles typically have a lengthy reference list.  Magazine articles often do not contain references.

For further characteristics, please see the attached chart.  If you have additional questions about magazines and journals, please contact your Campus Librarians.  Thank you for using ASK US.

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Other Answers / Comments (1)

  1. Good description and explanation
    by Prasad on Nov 16, 2013.

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