Academic Journal

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An Academic Journal is a Periodical Publication of Journal Editions that involves a Peer-Review Process.



    • An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research. Content typically takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, and book reviews. Academic or professional publications that are not peer-reviewed are usually called professional magazines.
    • The term "academic journal" applies to scholarly publications in all fields; this article discusses the aspects common to all academic field journals. Scientific journals and journals of the quantitative social sciences vary in form and function from journals of the humanities and qualitative social sciences; their specific aspects are separately discussed. The similar American and British journal publication systems are primarily discussed here; practices differ in other regions of the world.
    • Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals
      • Periodicals cover a wide spectrum of utility. Many are written for a general audience whose readers are not expected to have specialized knowledge or training. We usually call these periodicals magazines. However, probably even more periodicals are written for specialists and have articles that cannot be readily understood by readers who lack that background. These periodicals written for a scholarly audience are called journal or scholarly journals. Being able to identify different types of periodicals can help you determine their usefulness for your projects (especially if you're required to use "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" articles for a paper). The following classifications can help you identify periodicals and determine their usefulness for your projects.
    • Scholarly Journals: The purpose of scholarly journals is to inform other scholars of research findings. Some knowledge of the subject terminology is required.
      • Authors are experts (professors, researchers, or scholars) in their field.
      • Content tends to be highly specialized and includes research projects, methodology and theory.
      • Appearance is sober and serious. The tone is set by a plain cover on plain paper and simple black and white graphics and illustrations.
      • Advertising is minimal or nonexistent.
      • Language will include terms specific to the field. Assumes some scholarly knowledge by the reader.
      • Sources are always cited.
      • Publishers include research organizations and universities.
      • Pagination tends to be consecutive within one volume, which may contain several separate issues.
      • Examples: American Economic Review, Archives of Sexual Behavior, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Plasma Physics, Annals of Glaciology, and Modern Fiction Studies.
      • Access Tools are specialized/disciplinary databases: JSTOR, Art Abstracts, MLA, PsycINFO, Project Muse, Biological Sciences, etc. OR general databases: Electronic Collection Online (ECO), Academic Search Elite, etc.
    • Peer reviewed and refereed journals
      • Within scholarly journals are more scholarly and prestigious peer reviewed and refereed journals.
      • Articles in peer reviewed journals have been impartially evaluated by several researchers or subject specialists in the academic community prior to being accepted for publication.
      • Articles in refereed journals have the evaluated by at least one subject specialist prior to acceptance for publication. Articles usually have distinct sections: introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion,conclusions, and steps for further research.
    • Trade and Professional Journals: Trade and Professional Journals examine news, trends, and issues for a specific business, industry or organization.
    • Commentary and Opinion Journals: Commentary and Opinion Journals examines social or political issues.
    • News/Newspapers: The main purpose is to provide information to a broad audience. No prior subject knowledge is necessary.
    • Popular Magazines: These magazines are designed to entertain, sell products, give practical information, and/or to promote a viewpoint.
    • Sensational/Tabloid: The main purpose if sensational magazines is to arouse curiosity and to cater to popular superstitions.