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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

RNSG 2213: Mental Health Nursing: Magazines vs. Journals

Provides information on finding resources for Mental Health Nursing.

Magazines vs. Journals

If your instructor ever asks you to find a magazine or a journal, you might be wondering, "What is the difference?"


  • Written for a general audience at about the 7th grade level.
  • Articles are usually written by people with journalism or English degrees.  The authors don't always have a degree in the field they are writing about.
  • Usually have a lot of pictures and advertisements.  The goal of a magazine is to sell magazines, so they put something eye-catching on the cover to get your attention.


  • Contains information and research on a particular field of study. 
  • Articles in journals are written by people who have a degree in that particular or similar field or they have a lot of experience in that area of study.
  • The articles are usually written for the professional and may use technical language.
  • The goal of a journal is to further knowledge in a particular field.
  • Articles usually contain abstracts, graphs, and bibliographies.
  • Peer Reviewed journals means that other specialists in that field review the article prior to accepting for publication.
  • There are journals for all different types of subjects (business, political science, nursing, libraries, science, history, etc.)
  • Information is more reliable than a magazine, because the articles are written by professionals in that field.


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