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Magazines vs. Journals

Scholarly Vs. Popular Articles -- What is the Difference? - (10.5 min.) This tutorial includes audio and will open in a new window.

Although some people may use these two words interchangeably, there is a distinction. If your instructor has told you that you must use "scholarly journals" or "peer-reviewed journals," she or he wants you to avoid using popular magazines as sources for your paper.

Popular Magazines Scholarly Journals
Written for "lay" audience, those who don't have in-depth knowledge of the topic Written for "experts" with in-depth knowledge of topic
Content aimed at entertainment, opinion, quick facts, current topics Contain research studies, analysis, technical information
Shorter articles - broad overview of topics Longer articles
Usually do not cite sources of information Includes extensive bibliographies of sources cited in work
Author usually a staff writer Authors are "experts" usually with credentials listed
Evaluated by editors, not experts Articles reviewed by a "jury" of experts, often referred to as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed"
Examples: Time, Newsweek, Psychology Today, Vogue, Reader's Digest Examples: Bioscience, Journal of the American Medical Association

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