Answered By: Paul Streby Last Updated: Feb 21, 2016 Views: 86005
A "periodical" is any publication that comes out regularly or occasionally (i.e. periodically, get it?). TV Guide, Sports Illustrated, The Journal of Anthropological Research, The World Almanac, and the phone book are all periodicals. The are also know as "serials."
A "magazine" is a periodical with a popular focus, i.e. aimed at the general public, and containing news, personal narratives, and opinion. Articles are often written by professional writers with or without expertise in the subject; they contain "secondary" discussion of events, usually with little documentation (e.g. footnotes). Magazines use vocabulary understandable to most people, and often have lots of eye-catching illustrations. Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and Psychology Today are magazines
A "journal" is a scholarly periodical aimed at specialists and researchers. Articles are generally written by experts in the subject, using more technical language. They contain original research, conclusions based on data, footnotes or endnotes, and often an abstract or bibliography. The Journal of Physical Chemistry, The Chaucer Review, The Milbank Quarterly, and Labor History are examples of journals.
It's important to understand the differences between journals and magazines. Magazines are not necessarily bad or low quality (nor are journals necessarily high quality) -- they simply aren't designed to support most upper-level academic research. This is because they don't document their sources of information, and they generally lack the depth of scholarly journals.
The table below highlights the differences. For more information check out our Understanding Journals guide.
|Journals - Scholarly||Magazines - Popular|
|Content||Detailed report or original research or experiment.||Secondary report or discussion; may include personal narrative, opinion, anecdotes|
|Author||Author’s credentials are given; usually a scholar with subject expertise||Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.|
|Audience||Scholars, researchers, and students||General public; the interested non-specialist|
|Refereed/peer-reviewed? [What's this?]||Usually||No|
|Language||Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires prior knowledge||Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers|
|Layout & Organization||Formal organization often begins with an abstract of the article; if reporting experimental findings notes the experiment’s purpose, methodology, and analysis of the results; a conclusion, and a bibliography; may include charts or graphs, but rarely photographs.||Informal organization: eye-catching type and formatting, usually includes illustrations or photographs. May not intend to present an idea with supporting evidence or come to a conclusion|
|Bibliography & References||Required. All quotes and facts can be verified.||Rare. Scanty, if any, information about sources.|
JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
The words "journal" or "review" often appear in the title
Almost anything available in a store or news stand.
- Periodical must have clear and consistent Frequency while Magazine may or may not have clear and consistent Frequency.
Periodical must be limited with the specific area of any subject while Magazine may not have such type of limitation relating to coverage.
The articles of Periodical must follow the technical writings (especially citations) but it is not mandetory in case of Magazine.
This is as addition or in support of the comments already given by
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