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Last Updated: Apr 11, 2023

"journal, n. A book or record. A daily newspaper or other publication; hence, by extension, Any periodical publication containing news or dealing with matters of current interest in any particular sphere. Now often called specifically a public journal." OED


Journals aim to share new and current research, describe past research,  and provide background information used to better understanding the topic. Journal article topics range from medicine and science to business, criminal justice, history, and art. For instance, Science and Nature are peer-reviewed scientific journals that discuss topics from cancer and stem-cell research to policy and controversial techniques.

Types of Journals

  • Academic or Scholarly: Written by scholars or experts in the field, describe current research and new technology, and contain references within and at the end of the text.
  • Peer-reviewed: Academic/scholarly articles that have been through the peer-review process (reviewed by experts in the field).
  • Scientific: Describe scientific research and typically includes an abstract, background, methods, results, discussion or conclusion, and references.
  • Popular: Written by journalists (not experts), contains more generalized information, and may not contain citations, abstracts, methodologies or in-depth specifics.
  • Trade: Focus on a specific field or industry, report on industry trends, written by specialists, and intended for people in a particular profession, business, or industry. 

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