Skip to main content

Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals: Learn to spot the differences...

Both magazines and journals can be useful sources of information. Learn the differences between scholarly journals and popular magazines.

MAGAZINES (aka "periodicals" or "popular" sources)

JOURNALS (aka "academic" or "scholarly" sources)



Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals - characteristics

Magazines

* fancy formatting – color!
* contains photos (sometimes)
* contains advertisements
* simple language – easy to read
* short (1-2 pgs)
* few or no references
* usually no sections
* simple, memorable  title
* useful for very recent current events

Scholarly Journals

* smarty-pants name
* black and white format
* complex language
* not short – 10-30 pages
* divided into sections (abstract, intro, methodology…)
* limited pictures, mostly charts and graphs
* most importantly, lots and lots of references
* often features original ('primary') research done by the author