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HDHL 230: Drugs & Society: Home

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Magazines vs. Journals: What's the difference?

Journal cover   Scholarly Journals

  • Authors are experts/authorities in their fields.
  • Authors cite their sources in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies.
  • Individual issues have little or no advertising.
  • Articles must go through a peer-review process (experts in the discipline evaluate each author's work before any articles are published).
  • Articles are usually reports on scholarly research.
  • Illustrations usually take the form of charts and graphs.
  • Articles use jargon of the discipline.
  • Articles are typically five or more pages in length.

Time Magazine   Popular Magazines

  • Authors are magazine staff members/regular columnists or free lance writers.
  • Authors often mention sources, but rarely formally cite them in bibliographies.
  • Individual issues contain numerous advertisements.
  • There is no peer review process.
  • Articles are meant to inform and entertain (thus they are also thought of as consumer publications because they are published for a wide audience).
  • Illustrations are numerous and colorful.
  • Language is geared to the general adult audience (no specialized knowledge of jargon needed).
  • Articles are typically fairly short (one or two columns to one or a few pages).

Where do I start researching my topic?

You might start researching your topic in an interdisciplinary database such as Academic Search Complete or InfoTrac.  If you don't find adequate sources, try one or more discipline specific databases, listed below or through the "All Databases for Finding Articles" link in the lefthand column.

Researching Health/Mental Health related topics?

Researching topics related to education and intervention programs?

Try the ERIC database for topics such as school/campus drug prevention programs, etc.

Researching Laws/Legal information?

Library Liaison

Mary Anne Hansen's picture
Mary Anne Hansen
Renne Library, Rm 117D
Montana State University
PO Box 173320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3320
406.994.3162, voice
406.994.2851, fax

APA resources

Need help to cite sources in APA style?