Teach Yourself: Understanding Scholarly Sources

When conducting research it is important to distinguish between journal articles and magazine articles. Journal articles are typically referred to as "scholarly," while magazine articles are usually considered "popular". A third category, "trade" magazines or journals, are written for professionals in a particular field but are not strictly research related. Below are additional criteria to consider when differentiating between journals and magazines.

Criteria Scholarly Journal Popular Magazine Trade Magazine/Journal
Sample Cover
Audience Academics and professionals General public People in the business
Authors Experts or specialists (PhD). Unpaid. Journalists, staff writers, or freelance writers. Paid. Staff writers, industry specialists, or vendor representatives. Paid.
Editorial Review Journal editorial board and peer reviewers. Unpaid. Professional editors. Paid. Professional editors. Paid.
References / Works Cited Almost always Rarely Sometimes
Example Journal Journal of Food Science and Technology Bon Appétit Food Management
Stated Purpose "Publishes peer reviewed research papers in... science, technology, packaging, and engineering of foods.... Special emphasis is given to fundamental and applied research...." "Offers 'life through the lens of food' — cooking in, dining out, culture, travel, entertainment, shopping and design." "Provides ideas for foodservice directors, managers and chefs through coverage of industry issues and events, operational topics and food trends that affect the noncommercial foodservice industry."
Example Article Title "Optimization of the production of shrimp waste protein hydrolysate using microbial proteases adopting response surface methodology" "In search of the perfect meatball" "UCLA hospitals go to antibiotic-free meats"
Price $436/year (6 issues) $15/year (12 issues) $80/year (12 issues)