Different types of Magazines and Journals

Every publication has its distinct purpose and different markets. Magazines and journals can be divided into three wide categories: scholarly, popular, and trade. The most crucial difference between a scholarly magazine and other types of journals is Peer review. Peer review is the scientific, professional, or academic work by experts in the similar field. The difference between the types of magazines is discussed below.



These journals are written by the authorities in the respective area of work, such as researchers and professors. These articles usually have various authors. These are intended for other authorities and scholars in the same field. The authors of these journals expect the readers to understand specialized language. The tone of writing in scholarly articles is formal. The sources are cited in a formal style in endnotes, footnotes, and bibliographies. These magazines usually have the appearance of labeled sections for the abstract and conclusions. The images are rare. If an image is present, they are probably graphs, tables, and charts. Peer review is done for scholarly journals. Example: Journal of Traumatic Stress.


These magazines are written by journalists, freelance writers, or staff writers. These articles usually have only one author. Sometimes these articles have no author listed. These articles are written for the general audience. The prime purpose of these popular magazines is to entertain as well as to inform. The authors are required to explain the new terms that the readers might not be familiar with. The informal tone is used. Sources are mentioned but are not cited formally. These journals do not contain abstract, conclusion or any other proper sections. Large colorful images are used. These images are usually in PDF format. No peer review for these magazines. Example: TIME


Trade magazines are written by experts and specialists in the field. These articles have one author. Sometimes the author’s name is not listed. These journals are meant for people who work in respective fields. The purpose is to offer practical information, news. These authors expect readers to understand particular functional language. The sources are mentioned but not formally cited. These will probably not have formal sections. Images are generally intended to illustrate concepts rather than a decoration to the page. There is no peer review done for trade magazines.  Example: Mental Health Business Week

Usually, the databases inform whether the journal is scholarly or not.