Difference Between Academic Journal and Periodical

Key Difference – Academic Journal vs Periodical
 

Although it can be confusing, there is a difference between academic journals and periodicals. What are academic articles? And how are they different from periodicals? First let us gain an understanding of the two terms. An academic journal refers to a publication of academic articles of a particular discipline. On the other hand, a periodical refers to a magazine published at regular intervals. The key difference between a periodical and an academic journal is that while an academic article is written for a special audience of experts of specialists in a discipline, periodicals are not. Through this article let us gain a clear understanding of the difference between the two words.

What is an Academic Journal?

An academic journal refers to a publication of academic articles of a particular discipline. These are mostly used to present new research of a particular discipline. Academic journals can also be considered as periodicals that are published from time to time. However, a striking difference between periodicals and academic journals stem from the fact that academic journals are not written for a general audience. On the contrary, it has been written for a particular group of individuals, mainly experts of a discipline or else scholars. This is why academic journals are also referred to as scholarly journals.

Academic journals consist of articles that have been written in an expert jargon. It usually includes references and insight into new findings, research, and also reviews. Academic journals can be found for most disciplines both in the natural and social sciences. Now let us move on to an understanding of periodicals.

Difference Between Academic Journal and Periodical

What is a Periodical?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a periodical refers to a magazine published at regular intervals. The very name periodical is used because the publication takes place periodically. This could be weekly, monthly, annually, etc. When speaking of periodicals, the newspapers, magazines, newsletters, scholarly journals all fall under the category of periodicals. Periodicals can either be written for a general audience or else for specialists. This differs based on the periodical. When a periodical has been written for specialist or academics, these are referred to as academic journals. This is the main difference between a periodical and an academic journal.

Periodicals can be very resourceful as they provide the reader with information on a particular topic. Hence, the reader does not have to go through many books and can find information on a topic in a single place. Also when considering newspapers as periodicals, the reader can gain information about events that took place recently. This is one of the reasons as to why researchers use periodicals. They provide the researcher with relevant and current information. Another reason as to why researchers prefer periodicals to book is that periodicals have a direct focus. For instance, if it is about refugee children, unlike a book that has a broader focus in a periodical it is not so. It is concise and specific.

Academic Journal vs Periodical

What is the Difference Between Academic Journal and Periodical?

Definitions of Academic Journal and Periodical:

Academic Journal: An academic journal refers to a publication of academic articles of a particular discipline.

Periodical: A periodical refers to a magazine published at regular intervals.

Characteristics of Academic Journal and Periodical:

Audience:

Academic Journal: Academic journals are written for a particular audience.

Periodical: Periodicals are written for a general audience.

Purpose:

Academic Journal: Academic journals are written to present new research.

Periodical: Periodicals are written to provide information.

Content:

Academic Journal: Academic journals include research summaries, reviews etc.

Periodical: Periodicals include opinions, stories, news.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. “Binding Annual Review of Sociology” by Cécile Duteille – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

2. “Periodicals at Europa Institut Library” by Cimmerian praetor – Own work. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons