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Peer-Reviewed, Popular Magazine or Journal?

Both magazines and journals are periodicals -- publications that come out regularly and more frequently than once a year. They may also be called serials.

arrow Magazine -- a type of periodical in which the articles are not usually written by professors or researchers and are not intended for an academic audience. The articles generally focus on news or topics of popular interest rather than research. Therefore, they are not scholarly or peer-reviewed.
arrow Journal -- a type of periodical that contains articles written by professionals in any area of academic study (i.e. psychology, chemistry, history etc.). The articles often report original research or the results of experiments, which makes them scholarly or academic in nature. They are also peer-reviewed.

PEER REVIEW -- When expert scholars (an author's peers, such as professors and researchers) assess the article submitted to be published in a journal, they are conducting a peer review. They decide whether or not the research is sound and if the article contains new and noteworthy material. Magazine articles are not usually peer-reviewed, but the majority of articles in journals are.

Knowing whether you have a magazine or a journal will help you decide if your article is popular or peer-reviewed.

arrow  Magazines (popular): arrow  Journals (peer-reviewed, scholarly):

- articles are intended for a popular/general audience and are not usually written by researchers or professors

- articles may contain news reports or general information on a variety of subjects

- the author's name and affiliation may not be given

- there will be no abstract (a paragraph summary) at the beginning of articles

- articles seldom contain footnotes or a bibliography

- articles are often enhanced with glossy photos or other illustrations

- articles are often short - fewer than 5 pages

- magazines are often full of advertising

- magazines are usually published by for-profit companies (such as AOL Time Warner)

- examples: The Economist, Time, Maclean's, Psychology Today, Newsweek

- articles are submitted by researchers or professors and are written for an academic audience

- articles usually contain the results of academic research

- the author' credentials and the institution at which he or she works will be identified

- there will usually be an abstract (a paragraph summary) at the beginning of articles

- articles will have footnotes and/or a bibliography

- articles may contain charts and tables but generally not glossy photos or other graphics

- articles will usually be longer than 5 pages

- journals contain little or no advertising

- journals are often published by universities or professional societies (such as the American Medical Association)

- examples: Journal of Communication, Journal of Sport Management, Lancet