What is the Difference Between Journal and Magazine

The main difference between journal and magazine is that journals are written in a technical language and targets researchers and experts of a particular field, whereas magazines are written in a non-technical language and targets the general.

Although both journals and magazines are periodicals, there are considerable differences between journal articles and magazine articles.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Journal  
      – Definition, Features 
2. What is a Magazine
     – Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Journal and Magazine
     – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Journal and Magazine
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Journal, Magazine

Difference Between Journal and Magazine - Comparison Summary

What is a Journal

Journals are a type of periodicals for researchers or experts in specific fields. Journals consist of a collection of scholarly articles. Therefore, people who only know the subject can read and understand the articles in a journal. Original research articles in a journal usually follow a format. These articles contain an abstract and a bibliography. Furthermore, the articles present explorative detail on a particular topic, and they are rich with facts. Tables, charts, and graphs are used to demonstrate the data in journal articles. Thus, journal articles tend to be lengthy in size. Moreover, writers of journal articles always sign the article.

Journal vs Magazine

In addition, when writing journal articles, writers use technical language and jargon related to the topic they are writing on. The content of a journal article is based on news and research in a particular field. In the articles, there are citations with references. Usually, an academic institute or an academic association publishes journals monthly or quarterly. The cover page of a journal is very simple, and it is text-based. It shows the volume number and issue, as well as the name of the institute that publishes it.

What is a Magazine

Magazines are periodicals for the general public. Generally, magazines contain articles related to news, opinions, and personal narratives. Most people can easily understand the content of magazines. The articles in magazines do not have a specific format, and these articles contain current events, interviews, or interesting general topics. Articles in magazines also do not have abstracts and bibliographies.

Compare Journal and Magazine - What's the difference?

Moreover, magazine articles are brief and consist of attractive pictures and illustrations. The cover page of a magazine is usually very colorful and often consists of an attractive photograph. Writers of these magazine articles are not researchers or scholars in a particular subject, and they do not usually sign them. Writers use non-technical language, usually everyday language. Thus, most of the readers can understand the content very clearly. Editors review the articles, and the magazines are published weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Besides, there are two types of magazines; they are general interest magazines and specific interest magazines.

Similarities Between Journal and Magazine

  • Both journals and magazines are periodicals.
  • Journals and magazines consist of a collection of articles.

Difference Between Journal and Magazine


A journal is a collection of scholarly articles written by researchers and other experts, while a magazine is a periodical publication that contains information on a variety of subjects.

Target Audience

Although journals target researchers and experts in a specific field, magazines target the general public.


Journals contain charts, graphs, and tables, whereas magazines contain illustrations and pictures.


Writers of journal articles use technical language, whereas writers of magazine articles use non-technical language.


Although the content of the journals is based on news and research, the content of magazines is based on current events and topics of general interest.

Writers of Articles

Although journal articles are written by researchers and experts, magazine articles are written by journalists.


The main difference between journal and magazine is that journals focus on researchers and experts in a particular field, whereas magazines focus on the public. Moreover, journals are written using technical language, while magazines are written using non-technical language.

Image Courtesy:

1. “OutThere-magazine-SriLanka” By OutThereMag – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “International Journal of Business and Social Science Research” By Ban36gladeshi – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Gerandielle

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