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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

RNSG 1413: Foundations for Nursing Practice: Magazines vs. Journals

This guide will familiarize you with the library resources available to help you with different topics in 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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