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What's the Difference? Scholarly Journals vs. Magazines: Home

What's the Difference between Scholarly Journals and Magazines?

CRITERIASCHOLARLY JOURNALS..NEWS/GENERAL INTEREST..POPULAR..SENSATIONAL..
FORMAT: ...generally have grave, serious formats. ...periodicals are attractive in appearance. ...magazines are generally slick and glossy with an attractive format. ...publications are often produced in a cheap newspaper format.
GRAPHICS: ...contain graphs and charts to illustrate the articles but seldom glossy pages or pictures. ...periodicals include photographs, illustrations and graphics to enhance the publication. ...magazines contain photographs, illustrations, and drawings to enhance their image. ...publications contain melodramatic photographs.
SOURCES: ...cite sources with footnotes and/or bibliographies. ...periodicals occasionally cite sources, but this is the exception not the rule. ...magazines rarely cite any sources, original sources can be obscure. ...publications rarely cite sources of information.
AUTHORS: ...are written by and for scholars or researchers in the specialty. ...periodicals are written for an educated, general audience either by the magazine's staff, a scholar, or free-lance writers. ...magazines are written by the publication's staff or free-lance writers for a broad based audience. ...publications contain articles written by free-lance writers or by the publication's staff for an impressionable readership.
LANGUAGE: ...use terminology, jargon and the language of the discipline covered. The reader is assumed to have a similar scholarly background. ...periodicals use language appropriate for an educated readership. They do not emphasize a specialty but do assume a certain level of intelligence. ...magazines use simple language in order to meet a minimum education level. Articles are kept short, with little depth. ...publications contain language that is simple, easy-to-read and understand. An inflammatory, sensational style is often used.
PURPOSE: ...purpose is to inform, report or make available original research or experimentation to the rest of the scholarly world. ...periodicals provide general information to a wide, interested audience. ...magazines are designed to entertain or persuade. A hidden (or not so hidden) agenda is to sell products or services. ...publications arouse curiosity and interest by stretching and twisting the truth. Outrageous, startling headlines are used to pique curiosity and gain readership. For example, "HUSBAND AND WIFE HAVE SEX CHANGE...TO SAVE MARRIAGE"
PUBLISHERS: ...are generally published by a professional organization. ...periodicals generally are published by commercial enterprises for profit. ...magazines are published for profit. ...publications are published for profit.
ADVERTISING: ...contain selective advertising. ...periodicals carry advertising. ...magazines contain extensive advertising. ...publications contain advertising as startling and melodramatic as the stories.
EXAMPLES:

ANNALS OF SCIENCE

CHAUCER REVIEW

EDUCATIONAL THEORY

SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW

JAMA: THE JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

FORBES

FORTUNE

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

TIME

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS

GLAMOUR

PEOPLE WEEKLY

READER'S DIGEST

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

GLOBE NATIONAL ENQUIRER

NATIONAL EXAMINER

STAR

SUN