What’s the difference between an academic journal, a scholarly journal, a peer reviewed journal and a magazine? Well they are all publications. The three with journal in the title are different names for the same thing! It is as though academia likes to complicate things. I have produced a straight forward infographic to simply show the differences between journals and magazines.
3 explanations for journal terms that you may find helpful
- Peer Review When an editor of a journal recieves a proposed publication from an author they send it (anonymously) to other experts (peers) in the field to give their opinions on whether the paper should be published. Depending on the reviewers responses the editor may accept, reject or send the paper back to the author for amendments or improvements. Peer review helps ensure the quality of articles published in journals.
- Reference Lists One of the things peer reviewers check for in a submission for publication is an appropriate, extensive and up to date reference list. The reference list demonstrates the author knows the field. The reference list also allows the reader to follow up, gain deeper understanding and engage in the research ‘conversation’.
- Impact factor Journals are quoted as having an impact factor. This is a system of ranking the quality of journals. In basic terms the impact factor is a number that shows how many times on average each article in the journal gets referenced (mentioned) in other peer reviewed journals over the previous 2 years. The higher the number the better. You can do a google search of a journals name with ‘impact factor’ to find it’s score. My view is that in the field of childhood disability an impact factor over 1 is good.
I hope you have found this useful. Please feel free to ask any questions or post any comments over on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/synergynow/