Difference Between Journal and Periodical

You probably must have wondered what the difference is between various kinds of article collections like Journal and Periodical. While both these are very similar terms, they are very different from one another.


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The basic difference is their audience. They have some other quite significant points of difference between them. It is important to know these differences to not confuse them with each other.

Journal vs Periodical

The difference between Journal and Periodical is that the former is written for a scholarly audience. On the other hand, the latter is written for either general or scholarly audiences. The former is a variety of the latter. Another point of difference between them includes the fact that the subject matter of a journal includes only original researched information while, in the case of a periodical, anything may be published.

Journal vs Periodical

A scholarly publication in academic terms is known as a journal. It is a kind of periodical. It is a collection of well-researched information written by experts like professors and researchers.

They typically contain original researched content. They target an academic or technical audience and do not have general audiences.

Publications issued at regular intervals are known by the name periodicals. Magazines, scholarly journals include varieties of this. Newsletters also come under this category.

Each issue’s subject matter is unique, and no two problems are all the same. Each issue also contains a number which means that each of them is a part of a larger volume. It has audiences ranging from general to scholarly.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonJournalPeriodical
DefinitionIn academic parlance, a journal is a scholarly publication. It’s a sort of magazine.Journals are regular publications that are published on a constant schedule.
AudienceThey have either technical or scholarly audiences. They do not usually have general audiences.They may have general or scholarly audiences.
TypesThese are either scholarly or technical publications.Magazines, scholarly journals include varieties of this. Newsletters are also among such types of publications. Newspapers come under this category too.
ContentThey usually include original researched information provided by specialists such as academics and researchers.The subject could be anything as it consists of different types of content.
LanguageThey are written in simple and comprehensible language.They use academic or technical language.

What is Journal?

A journal is an academic publication in academia. This is a comprehensive collection of publications. These are usually written by experts and specialists. This may include people like professors and researchers.

A single portion of the study is usually the subject matter of a journal. It may also be a specific topic. Healthcare journals, artistic or literary journals, and so forth.

Journals, on the other hand, are written for an intellectual or technical readership. Hence they are not for ordinary readers. Journals are also available in print and as online publications.

Genuine research is usually found in journal articles. The research must be original and unique. Peer evaluation is another step undergone before publishing these.

Journals also cover current events in that discipline, cite relevant works, and include bibliographies.

Journals also follow a particular routine for their publication and printing. They also have index numbers. Each issue is an edition, and a collection of issues is referred to as a volume. Each year, on average, has its volume.

Journals, as the more restricted title implies, focus on a narrower range of topics. Most, if not all, journals are longer than a typical article in a professional publication, and they frequently end with a significant list of bibliographical references.

What is Periodical?

Periodicals are typically designed to live indefinitely. It is defined by an online dictionary resource. Here it is defined as a continuing publication made up of a variety of literary works such as editorials, articles, columns, reviews, poetry, and short tales.

As a result, several authors contribute to this magazine, which is given a different periodical name. The editor or, in some situations, the editorial board is in charge of the periodical’s material.

Furthermore, each issue has a numbering, and each year’s editions are collected into a volume, which also has a count. This is the main reason why a specific number is assigned to each volume or edition.

This helps in the easy citing of a particular piece from a source. This source may be a magazine, journal, or newspaper. It makes it easier for readers to locate the appropriate periodical.

Many periodicals are aimed at a broad audience with no prior expertise or experience in a particular topic.

Publications can have a range of content; for instance, a magazine may include sections such as discussions, reviews, breaking news, and various types of articles. Journals are also magazines that are published for an academic audience.

There are not many topics about which entire volumes have been published. Neither is there specific information one needs within a book on a greater topic.

Main Differences Between Journal and Periodical

  1. In academic terms, a journal is a scholarly publication. It’s similar to a magazine in that it’s published on a regular basis. Periodicals, on the other hand, are collections of articles published on a regular basis.
  2. Journals have two types of audiences: technical and scholarly. They normally do not appeal to a broad readership, whereas magazines may appeal to a broad or scholarly audience.
  3. Journals are intellectual or technical publications, whereas magazines and scholarly journals are different types of periodicals. This category also includes newsletters and newspapers.
  4. Original researched information produced by specialists such as academics and researchers is common in journals. Periodicals, on the other hand, can cover any topic. It has a variety of contents.
  5. Periodicals utilize academic or technical jargon, whereas journals use simple and straightforward language.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/001088049603700218
  2. https://www.osti.gov/biblio/4158450

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