Difference Between Journal Article and Research Paper

Academically, specific educational reading is an essential tool to enhance learning. Reading relevant articles, papers, and documents book holds an entire concept for upscaling knowledge and grade aggregation as well.


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Journals, journal articles, and research papers are some of the professional and academic learning mechanisms.

Key Takeaways

  1. A journal article is a shorter scholarly writing published in a specific academic journal.
  2. A research paper is a more extended, comprehensive academic writing presenting original research.
  3. Journal articles are typically more focused and present specific findings, while research papers are broader and present a more comprehensive study.

Journal Article vs Research Paper

The difference between a journal article and a research paper is that journal articles are extensive, well-researched, and conceptual for the academic audience, while research papers look and dive into one viewpoint and substantiate with relevant theories, scientific standpoints, and evaluation supported through extensive study.

Journal Article vs Research Paper

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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonJournal ArticleResearch Paper
The overall arcIt’s a publicationIt can be cited
Based onBased on knowledge and experienceIn-depth study of every aspect of a topic in hand
Time frameShort durationExtensive and ongoing
PatentNot patentedCan be Patented
ContentBroader spectrumSpecific to a domain
RatingImpact rating neededNon-rating


What is Journal Article?

Journal articles are periodically published wherein more than one author can be involved to culminate the article.

A journal article is experiential and is of various natures. For example, a journal article has analysed a newspaper article, a review, a proposal, or any other academic and research-based submission.

In short, a journal article can be academic or non-academic.

A journal article can be a research paper as well which can be presented at various platforms.  https://www.jstor.org/ is an excellent place to dive in and figure out various journals specific to the area of interest and purpose of knowledge advancement.

journal article

What is Research Paper?

Research is time-consuming as it involves reopening something already found and established.

Research means to search i.e. to find the cause and effects again of something that is already established.

Let’s say I want to research the frequency of radioactivity; my first step will be to sit with the thought why I want to research radioactivity, what concepts of it, the time frame, the type of data collection mechanism, and most importantly, do an extensive literature review.

A literature review involves reading various case studies, findings, papers, and newspapers on the topic or question to be explored and writing a whole section on the same.

research paper

Main Differences Between Journal Article and Research Paper

The overall Arc

Journal articles are primarily written to enhance knowledge in a field or domain of learning or related to a professional approach that is useful in field-specific understanding.

Journal articles are written by people who are at the top of the game or knowledgeable through their experiences and knowledge, which may or not be related to research-supported evidence.

A research paper is a thorough study of ‘A’ particular question that can again have multiple other sub-questions that must be re-found and revisited.

This work is done very step-by-step and in a particular format. The research paper supports every point with tactile, raw and supplemented findings and also presents the limitation of the study conducted.

 In short, a research paper is an in-depth study of something that was already presented, while journal articles are based on a personal viewpoint.

Bases On and Time Frame

As per the understanding above, a journal paper can be a research paper or a current trending news based on any ideologies which entail personal experience and learning.

On the other hand research paper is an extensive study of conceptual readability through evidence-based presentations through graphs, diagrams, case studies, etc.

The research paper takes a while to complete as the study of a case, a sample of people, a demographic area, etc., takes a while.

While a journal article can be worked upon in a week and go on for a few months too. But not as extensive as a research paper


If a research paper is written and extensively worked by, let’s say, a department, domain or organization, they are patented.

That means the right exclusively remains with them, and the submitted work can only be republished with due permission.

A journal article is open to the masses and can be read, shared, reviewed, and presented without touching the applicable copyright mandates and policies.

A journal paper is not patented.


Reiterating, a journal article is written based on generality; it can hold onto a broader spectrum of visibility as per its written content.

Yes, a journal article can be a research paper, but it’s not always the case.

The content can be written quickly and be a free-flowing presentation.

On the other hand, a research paper calls to have extensive rough work, a systematic paper written with proper citations at relevant places.

A literature review is a very crucial part of the written paper. Also, the raw data collection, interview transcribes, and so much more is needed as a collective.


A journal article does run after rating, as in today’s world; everything is moving to digitalization.

The ‘jstor’ link has already been shared in ‘what is a journal article’. The journals and articles most viewed and reviewed get better footage. 

 A research paper, on the other hand, is one of the components of a journal and can also be limited to its presentation.

A research paper can have a limited audience. Say it can be a university or a conference reach out.

Hence a research paper is not driven through any ratings and mainly remains concerned with its presentation and findings to be made known.

https://www.ijsr.net/ is one more digital space to connect with to understand what goes into the pre and post-execution of submissions of papers.

Difference Between Journal Article and Research Paper
  1. https://gssrr.org/index.php/gssrr/How-to-Publish-Research-Paper
  2. https://www.springer.com/gp/authors-editors/journal-author/types-of-journal-manuscripts/1356
  3. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/research_papers/index.html
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4 thoughts on “Difference Between Journal Article and Research Paper”

  1. Hi Piyush Yadav,
    I wonder, under which kind of degree or course do they teach us how to write a research paper and journal article?

    1. Hi Robert,
      The information on research papers and journals is shared with candidates opting for a PhD course in their respective fields.

  2. My journey started with a job and eventually, I switched over to my own business in selling computer hardware.

    1. Hi Swati,
      so you found the most success in business which makes sense because there is also the risk of losing the job when working for an employer.

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