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RTM 352: Play and Human Potential

Professor Delfina Newton

Magazines vs. Journals


Magazines vs. Journals


Popular Sources = magazines and newspaper articles

Purpose: Inform and entertain the general reader
Authors: journalist or professional writers (usually employees of the publication)
Audience: general public
Coverage: Broad variety of public interest topics, cross disciplinary.
Publisher: Commercial
Few or no cited references
General summaries of background information
Contain advertisements
Length of articles are usually brief, 1-5 pages
Frequency: Published on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Examples: Time, Newsweek, Vogue, National Geographic, The New Yorker

Scholarly Sources = journal articles

Purpose: To communicate research and scholarly ideas
Authors: researchers, scholars, or faculty (usually listed with their institution affiliation)
Audience: other scholars, students
Coverage: Very narrow and specific topics
Publisher: Professional associations, academic institutions, and many commercial publishers.
Includes full citations for sources
Uses scholarly or technical language
Peer reviewed
Length of articles are longer, over 5 pages
Frequency: Published on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
Examples: Journal of Politics, Sociological Review, Journal of Marriage and Family

Things to keep in mind

You can find both types of sources using the Oviatt Library’s Databases.
Book reviews and editorials found in journals are not considered scholarly articles.
Both magazines and journal articles can be good sources for your work.
Often a combination of the two will be the most appropriate for undergraduate research.

How Scholarly Articles are Published?

How Scholarly Articles are Published infographic

How Scholarly Articles Are Published, or What Binge Watching Can Tell You About Academic Research 

Parallels Between Television and Academic Publication
Scholarly Publication Television
An article contains a complete argument but is also part of a larger scholarly conversation An episode contains a complete plot but can also be part of a larger narrative arc.
A year's worth of articles adds up to a volume. A year's work of episodes adds up to a season.
These regularly released collection are part of a journal.  Some have completed their run, and some are ongoing. These regularly released collection are part of a series.  Some have completed their run, and some are ongoing.
Journals are made available by databases. Series are made available by networks.
Some databases, like Artstor and IEEE Explore, are focused on a particular topic.  Some databases, like Project Muse and JSTOR, have a wide variety of content. Some networks, like ESPN and HGTV, are focused on a particular topic.  Some networks, like PBS and Netflix, have a wide variety of content.

OneSearch searches nearly all of the University Library’s databases at the same time. OneSearch also finds books, videos, music, and more. If you need help finding a specific article, choosing a database, or doing any kind of research, call 818-538-7814 or text 818-900-2965. Librarians are here to help.