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English Research Guide: Magazines Vs Journals

Literature research Guide


  • Audience is the general public
  • No previous knowledge is required
  • Articles must help sell the magazine
  • Authors are journalist with input from editor of the magazine
  • Carries lots of advertising, probably more than editorial content
  • Lots of glossy pictures
  • For sale at newsstands

Magazines Vs Journals



What is a "Refereed" (Peer-Reviewed) article?

Refereed, or peer-reviewed, articles are reviewed by people who are experts in the specific subject the articles are written on. These anonymous reviewers determine if the material submitted for publication is accurate and adds significant knowledge to the area of study that already exists. Refereed (or peer-reviewed) materials are important to the research and the literature of most academic fields; the status of "peer review" assures readers that the information conveyed is reliable, timely, and credible.

The term "scholarly literature" describes refereed (or peer-reviewed) materials. It can also be applied to academic books, white papers, conference presentations, and more publication types that have not been peer-reviewed. While non-refereed materials may not be scrutinized as intensely before publication as refereed materials are, they can still be considered scholarly and academic. Pay attention to the publisher to determine if the resource is academic. 

Scholarly Journal

  • Audience - scholars in the academic field
  • Readers have some understanding of the subject
  • Articles are refereed: must contribute to the existing body of knowledge in the field
  • Authors are experts in the field
  • Generally no advertising
  • Generally, few if any pictures
  • Distributed mostly by subscription