Scholarly Journals and Popular Magazines
Scholarly (sometimes called peer-reviewed) journals differ from popular magazines in several ways. This guide to identifying characteristics should help you understand the differences:
View our Video Tutorial on scholarly journals and popular periodicals.
|Purpose||Usually for a specific field||Current, general interest|
|Audience||Researchers or those of advanced reading level||General audience|
|Author||Professional, specialist, expert. Credentials provided.||Journalist, popular author, staff writer.|
|Length||Longer articles. In-depth studies||Shorter articles; overview of topics|
|Reviewed||Reviewed (refereed) by scholars, experts, or peers in field||Evaluated by staff editors|
|Illustrations||Charts, graphs, some specialized photographs||Numerous glossy and color photographs|
|Advertising||Minimal advertising; occasionally some for field-specific products.||Lots of advertising for a wide array of products|
|Language||Specialized vocabulary||Non-technical vocabulary; easier to understand|
Remember that even a scholarly journal can have editorial, opinion, or news items that would not be considered "peer-reviewed."
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