Westfield State University Ely Library

JOURNALS vs. MAGAZINES - Which is Which?

Periodicals come in a variety of styles and are published for a variety of audiences. They offer news, opinion, commentary, scholarly analysis, literary criticism, and reports of research. They range from brief newsletters published by trade organizations to in-depth journals published by scientific societies and university presses. Most periodicals are published at regular intervals, from daily newspapers to semi-annual journals. You must make active choices about the types of periodicals for a given research project. Magazines may be appropriate for some purposes, journals of opinion for others. Usually the most important sources for college-level research are academic journals.




  • New York Times
  • Boston Globe
  • Current information, features
  • Opinion / Commentary
  • Text of Speeches, etc.
  • Geographic Focus
  • ProQuest National Newspapers
  • Newspaper Source
  • Ebony
  • Rolling Stone
  • Focused toward specific consumer group
  • Basic Reading Level
  • Recipes, tips, How-to..., entertainment
  • Academic Search Premier
  • General Onefile
  • ProQuest Central
News Magazines
  • Time
  • Newsweek
  • Non-technical language
  • Current events Overviews
  • Photographs, graphs
  • Book and Movie reviews
  • Academic Search Premier
  • ProQuest Central
Popular Journals of Opinion
  • New Republic
  • National Review
  • Focused toward informed audience
  • Particular viewpoint
  • Commentary on politics and society
  • Book / Movie reviews, interviews
  • Academic Search Premier
  • ProQuest Central
Professional / Trade Journals
  • AdWeek
  • Modern Plastics
  • Written for practicitioner in applied field.
  • Production information, ads.
  • Current trends and practices
  • Meetings, jobs, personalities
  • Business Source Premier
  • Professional Development Collection
Academic Journals
  • Journal of Popular Culture
  • Studies in Short Fiction
  • Journal of Criminal Justice
  • James Joyce Quarterly
  • Peer- reviewed before publication
  • Technical language of the discipline
  • Reports of original research or theories
  • Research methods, results, discussions
  • Reviews of the literature of the discipline
  • Extensive citations.
  • Charts, graphs, technical drawings
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Specific Disciplinary Indexes:
    • Criminal Justice Abstracts with
    • ERIC
    • PsycINFO
    • MLA International Bibliography
    • SportDiscus


Created by Corinne Ebbs
Updated by Oliver Zeff
Last updated 6/9/2014