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Research Help: Journals & Magazines Explained

Magazines:

Usually referred to as general interest or popular magazines. They are written for the general public and often focus on news, offer entertainment, or provide brief information about diverse topics.

  • Rarely include citations
  • Often heavily illustrated 
  • Often with many colourful advertisements
  • Written for non-experts (often by non-experts)

Helpful when you need:

  • Analysis of current events
  • Personal narratives and opinions
  • Interviews of well-known people
  • Reviews of products, movies, and performance

How to recognize in a database?

  • look for tip-off words such as:
    • Magazine
    • Digest
    • Illustrated
    • Popular
    • Weekly
    • Names of popular interests or hobbies (e.g., sports, games, science)
    • Target audience (e.g., consumer, teens, New York )

Journals:

Journals are intended for academic research or members of a profession. Journal articles are written for experts or college students in the academic field or discipline.They include original research, critical analysis, and review of prior research.

  • Also referred to as scholarly journals or research journals.
  • Author's name is listed with affiliations/credentials (universities associated with, other writings, etc.)
  • Often peer-reviewed (but not always)
  • Usually lengthy.
  • Include a list of references at the end.
  • Examples: Journal of Applied Psychology, New England Journal of Medicine

​Helpful when you need:

  • critical anyalsis
  • in-depth explanations

How to recognize in a database?

  • Look for the following words in the title:
    • Journal
    • Review
    • Studies
    • Research
    • Quarterly
  • Has a reference list at the end

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