Journal vs Periodical: Difference and Comparison

You probably must have wondered about the difference between journal and periodical article collections. While both these are very similar terms, they are very different from one another.

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Journals are academic publications focusing on a specific study area and containing original research articles.
  2. Periodicals are publications released regularly, such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly, and can cover various topics.
  3. Journals are peer-reviewed, while Periodicals may or may not be peer-reviewed.

Journal vs Periodical

Journals provide a platform for researchers and experts to share their research and insights. A periodical is a publication that is published at regular intervals and includes a wide range of content, such as news, feature articles, opinion pieces, and more, intended for a broader audience than academic journals.

Journal vs Periodical

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


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

The name of periodicals knows publications issued at regular intervals. Magazines and scholarly journals include varieties of this. Newsletters also come under this category.

Each issue’s subject matter is unique, and no two problems are alike. Each issue also contains a number, meaning each is 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 have general audiences.They may have general or scholarly audiences.
TypesThese are either scholarly or technical publications.They include original researched information from specialists such as academics and researchers.
ContentThey 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. Experts and specialists write these. This may include people like professors and researchers.

A single portion of the study is the subject matter of a journal. It may also be a specific topic—healthcare journals, artistic or literary journals, etc.

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 online publications.

Genuine research is 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.

As the more restricted title implies, journals 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.

journal article

What is a Periodical?

Periodicals are designed to live indefinitely. An online dictionary resource defines it. Here it is defined as a continuing publication comprising various literary works such as editorials, articles, columns, reviews, poetry, and short tales.

As a result, several authors contributed 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 with a count. This is 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 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 regularly. Periodicals, on the other hand, are collections of articles published regularly.
  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 periodicals. This category also includes newsletters and newspapers.
  4. Original researched information from 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 language.

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