How Do I Find Journal Articles?

Magazine and journals are important information sources for up-to-date information. They are issued daily, weekly, monthly, and annually and contain articles written by various authors. On many occasions, magazines and journals may be referred to as periodicals or serials. For many assignments, your instructor may indicate the types of sources you should consult for your research. Here's a quick guide to understand the differences between popular magazines and scholarly journals. Click here for a more detailed printable document about the differences between scholarly journals and trade and popular magazines.

Popular Magazines

Cover of Time Magazine
  • Short articles
  • Authors are journalists or freelance writers
  • Readers are non-academic or non-specialized
  • Numerous full page color advertisements
  • Articles do not contain a bibliography or references
  • Articles are meant to inform, update or entertain

Scholarly Journals (also known as peer reviewed or refereed publications)

Cover of Historical Sociology Journal
  • Lengthy articles (5-50+ pages)
  • Authors are authorities in their fields
  • Readers are specialists or students in the field
  • Most have little or no advertising
  • Authors cite their sources in references or bibliographies
  • Articles focus on research reports, methodology and theory