A periodical is a piece of literature published with a set schedule for various purposes, ranging from entertainment to scholarly. Journals and magazines are both types of periodicals released in a set interval.
- Journals are academic publications that contain scholarly articles, research papers, and reviews, written by experts in a specific field and subjected to a peer-review process.
- Magazines are periodicals that feature articles, stories, and images on various topics, targeting a general audience and written in an informal or entertaining style.
- The primary differences between journals and magazines lie in their content, writing style, and target audience, with journals focusing on academic research and magazines catering to a broader readership.
Journal vs. Magazine
A journal can be a periodic article related to research. People can also write their journals which show their detailed research about something. Its audience is scholars. A magazine can contain general knowledge or news related to celebrities. Its audience is the general public. Simple and easy-to-understand language is used in a magazine.
Journals are periodicals that release research and scholarly articles on a monthly schedule. They are mostly written by scholars and are aimed at the audience with prerequisite knowledge of the topic at the discussion.
Journals include even a bibliography, and not everyone can submit an article.
Magazines are periodicals used to entertain the general public through articles, fluff pieces, and gossip. They are written in simple language for the public’s understanding. Magazines are very vibrant and well-advertised.
|Parameters of Comparison
|Dull and sober colours
|Vibrant and colorful
|Includes only research and scholarly topics that provide knowledge
|Includes general knowledge, gossip, celebrity news, and fluff pieces.
|Aimed at the scholars who have prerequisite knowledge of the topic in the article
|Aimed at the general public
|Has in-depth knowledge of the topic being discussed
|Only overviews of the topic
|Monthly or yearly schedule
|Weekly or monthly schedule
|It can be interpreted only by scholars who are aware and familiar with the terminologies or jargon
|Easily readable language, and anyone can understand
|Special scholars or researchers who have been doing experiments and theories on the article
|Anyone can write an article for a magazine; the name may or may not be included.
What is Journal?
Journal is a periodical that includes only research, academic articles. It may also include personal articles that have recorded details of their research.
The articles of the journal have a decided structure. They always include a bibliography and abstracts.
They are mostly published in monthly or quarterly schedules.
A journal is only written by experts or scholars of that particular field discussed in the article. The general public may not understand them, as they may contain terminologies exclusive to the topic.
So, they are aimed at those who have prerequisite knowledge of the topic at the discussion.
Journals are known to carry only original research works, and the author or scholar is always mentioned, unlike in magazines.
What is Magazine?
Magazines are periodicals aimed at the general public, with simple language, and are also found in various native languages. They contain entertainment articles such as gossip, celebrity news, personal narratives, etc.
These are weekly or monthly scheduled periodicals largely supported and financed by advertisements. They are always attractive and vibrant to catch the audience’s attention.
Articles in a magazine, though interesting, are not written by specific people. Anyone and everyone can write them, but they don’t need to be given credit for it.
Unlike journals, magazines do not include a bibliography.
Since they do not go into in-depth knowledge, these articles can be about general or field-specific topics.
They mostly aim to entertain or inform the general public about various topics and subjects of interest.
Main Differences Between Journal and Magazine
- The main difference between a journal and a magazine, though they contain articles, is the content they cover. Journals only cover scholarly and informative articles; experts write researched topics. Whereas magazine articles aim to entertain the general public, they mostly contain gossip, general knowledge, etc.
- One can know the difference even in their appearance. Magazines are colorful and vibrant to attract the audience’s attention. Advertising companies promote them. But journals are dull and have sober colors. This is so the readers’ attention is not diverted from the topic of the discussion.
- The audience aimed at the two also has a striking contrast in them. While a magazine aims at the general public for entertainment, a journal is aimed at scholars, researchers, and individuals who have prior knowledge on the subject and wish to gain in-depth knowledge.
- A magazine does not require, nor does it have, in-depth knowledge of the news or the topics of the articles. This is because they are purely for entertainment purposes, unlike journal articles. The journal has complete and in-depth knowledge of the topic in the discussion. This helps the targeted audience to get the required knowledge.
- One may expect a magazine to have a weekly or monthly schedule, but the same cannot be expected from a journal. Though they can have a monthly schedule, they are mostly seen to have a quarterly or a yearly schedule.
- The authors or the writers of the contents of a magazine article can be magazine editors or any freelance writer. But the authors of a journal are those who have done in-depth research in the field or are experts in the field. Therefore, an article in the magazine can be written by anyone.
- The language used in a magazine are easy-to-read and can also be found in many native languages for the audience’s comfort. They can be read and understood by anyone. Unlike magazines, to read a journal, one needs to have prior knowledge of the subject.
Last Updated : 11 June, 2023
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.