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How do I determine if an article is from a journal or magazine?
Students are often instructed to locate articles from a scholarly or academic journal. The following descriptions may help to decide whether an article would be considered to be "scholarly" (i.e., - from a journal) or "popular" (i.e., - from a general interest magazine). If you are in doubt, consult with a librarian or your professor.
The Characteristics of Scholarly, Trade and Popular Journals
- illustrations, if any, are graphs and charts, with few glossy color pictures
- articles are lengthy and list references in footnotes or end notes
- articles are written by someone who has conducted research in the field and is usually affiliated with a university or research center
- content of articles reports on original research or experimentation
- authors write in the language of their discipline; usually other scholars or college students, are assumed to have some knowledge of the field
- often, but not always, are published by a scholarly professional association
- few advertisements
Examples: Journal of American Folklore, Shakespeare Quarterly, Sex Roles, International Migration Review, Foreign Affairs.
- articles frequently focus on how to do a job better
- articles usually do not reflect original research
- journal often publishes job listings
- articles may not be footnoted or have few footnotes
- often published by a scholarly professional association
- usually contain news or information of interest to people in that profession
- advertisements are aimed at people in that profession
Examples: American Biology Teacher, Police Chief, American Psychologist, Southeastern Librarian.
- articles are short and written to inform or entertain the general public
- often are illustrated with glossy or color photographs
- articles are seldom footnoted and the source of information is seldom given
- authors are usually on the staff of the magazine or are freelance writers
- advertisements are aimed at the general public
Examples: Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Psychology Today, People Weekly, Vogue
Reprinted with permission from Boatwright Library at the University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia