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Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines: Home

The purpose of this guide is to help students understand the difference between scholarly vs. popular magazines

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines


Scholarly Journals Popular Magazines
Samples scholarly journal popular magazines
Author The author is usually an academic, scholar or researcher who is an expert in a particular field or subject.  The author’s name may or may not be given; the author may be a professional or staff writer with little or no expertise in the subject or field
Audience Written for scholars, researchers, academics and students Written for a general audience
Accountability Editors review articles for accuracy; articles may undergo an additional process called peer review. This review is done by experts in the same field or by an expert on that topic Editors on the editorial staff review articles; editors are not experts in the field or experts on a specific topic
Content Original or academic research which includes methodology, theory, and/or experimentation and discussion Popular, timely, easy to understand articles 
Language Technical jargon or specialized terminology of a specific field or subject area  Easy to understand language
Layout & Organization Structured; generally includes the article abstract, objectives, methodology, analysis, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion and references. May have charts, tables and/or graphs; no ads are used
Informal; may include a variety of formats.  May not include evidence or conclusions are included.  Ads are part of the layout
References Always has a list of references with a list or bibliography of sources.  Quotes and facts can be verified Rarely has a list of references, no information about the sources are included
Examples Science, Nature, Journal of American Medical Association, Chemical Science Vogue, Time, People, National Geographic, US News & World Report


Scholarly and Popular Sources