Difference Between Journal Article and Research Paper

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

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

Journal Article vs Research Paper

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

Journal Article vs Research Paper


Comparison Table Between Journal Article and Research Paper (in Tabular Form)

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 there can be more than one author involved to culminate the article.

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

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 that is already found and established.

Research means to‘re-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 about radioactivity, what concepts of it, the time frame, type of data collection mechanism and most importantly doing an extensive literature review.

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

research paper

Main Differences Between Journal Article and Research Paper

The overall Arc

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

Journals 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 need to be re-found, revisited.

This work is done in a very step by step way and in a very specific 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 new based on any ideologies which entail personal experience and learnings.

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 get completed as the study of a case, a sample of people, demographic area, etc takes a while.

While a journal article can be worked upon in a week and can go to 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 for the masses and can be read, shared, reviewed, presented without touching the copyright mandates and policies that apply.

A journal paper is not patented.


Reiterating, a journal article is written based on generality, it can be holding on to a broader spectrum of visibility as per its content written.

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

The content can be written in a short duration and be a free-flowing presentation.

On the other hand, a research paper calls out to have extensive rough work, a systematic paper written with a proper citation 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 it today’s world, everything moving to digitalization.

The ‘jstor’ link has already been shared in ‘what is a journal article’. The journals and the articles that are most viewed, 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 king of 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 in order to understand the space of what goes into the pre and post-execution of submissions of papers.

Difference Between Journal Article and Research Paper



Connecting the dot of the above specifically demarcated six-pointers, its worthy to be aware that both journal article and research paper has their specific audience, purpose, reach out and most importantly – worth as a medium of knowledge.

Key Differences Between Journal Article and Research Paper (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

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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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?

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Robertclino

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


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

Piyush Yadav
Piyush Yadav
Reply to  Swati

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.