Journal or Magazine? How Do I Tell?

Journal or Magazine? Here’s How To Tell…
  Scholarly Journal General Nursing Magazines
Popular Magazine
Appearance Articles are research oriented. Few Pictures. Illustrations take the form of charts and graphs. Few Ads Articles are news oriented; cover trends in the field, etc. Some illustrations are included, usually charts, graphs, etc. Trade specific ads. Articles are meant to inform and entertain. Illustrations are numerous and colorful. Lots of advertising.
Audience Written for experts, researchers, other scholars Written for professionals within the field or industry (education, business, etc.) Written for a popular/general audience, or in some cases, an educated layperson
Authors Scholars and researchers. Authors’ credentials are included Staff writers or contributing authors. Some articles may be anonymous. Journalists, staff writers, or contributing authors. Some articles may not be credited.
Bibliography Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies. Often includes an abstract. Authors often mention sources, but rarely formally cite them in bibliographies.

Articles almost never have bibliographies.

Accountability Articles are peer-reviewed No peer-review process No peer-review process
Frequency of Publication Often monthly or even quarterly (every three months). Usually monthly, although some business newspapers may come out weekly Often monthly or even weekly (like Time and Newsweek magazines)
Examples Journal of Nursing Education; Nursing Research; WJNR (Western Journal of Nursing Research) Adweek; Advertising Age; Chemical and Engineering News; Nursing; RN; Successful Farming Better Homes and Gardens; Newsweek; Rolling Stone; Time


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