What is the difference between a scholarly journal and a popular magazine?


Scholarly journals are also called peer-reviewed journals.  Peer review is a process by which editors have experts in a field review books or articles submitted for publication by the experts’ peers. Peer review helps to ensure the quality of an information source.

Elements of Scholarly Journals:

  • Articles are lengthy, in-depth and written in the jargon of the field for others with similar backgrounds
  • Authors are experts in the field
  • Audience is the scholarly reader [professors, students, researchers]
  • Illustrations support the text
  • Bibliographies or references are always included
  • Examples: American Sociological Review, Journal of Abnormal Psychology; Journal of Applied Science & Engineering Technology

Magazines are publication issued on a regular basis containing popular articles, written and illustrated in a less technical manner than the articles found in a journal.

Elements of the popular magazine:

  • Feature writers; columns; occasional “guest” writers
  • Usually do not include any bibliographies or references
  • Articles are short [between 1 and 5 pages]
  • Audience is the general public
  • Popular topics written for anyone to understand
  • Often include flashy photography or graphic elements for marketing appeal
  • Examples:  Rolling Stone, Time, Popular Science, National Geographic
  • Last Updated Oct 12, 2017
  • Views 241
  • Answered By The JSCC Libraries

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 0 0

Contact Us

  • If you have a question or need assistance, please contact us through one of the options below. 
  • We will respond in less than 24 hours.

How can we help you?

If you didn't find what your answer, use this form to request more information or ask us your specific question!

Your Info

Provide a valid email address so we can respond to your question.

Fields marked with * are required.