Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Journal and Periodical

Journal vs Periodical

Comparing a journal from a periodical is like differentiating between the iPad and tablet computers. By definition, a periodical is an official piece of publication that is regularly published for an indefinite span of time. A journal, on the contrary, can have several definitions. It may refer to a newspaper that is being published every day. It may also pertain to other publications like magazines, scholarly or academic journals, and the like. In some other sense even, a journal can also be a record of transactions or events like that of a diary. Nevertheless, in all three definitions it appears that a periodical is a broader term compared to a journal.

As a general term that refers to many kinds of specific publications, including journals, a periodical gives concise information to a wide array of readers. Some experts classify periodicals into two groups, namely, the specialized and the general periodicals. The first includes the journals and is deemed as the more professional type of periodical while the latter includes magazines which are written for the masses in a popular style of writing. “Time” and “Sports Illustrated” are two of the most popular general periodicals.

Periodicals are usually intended to last forever. ODLIS, an online dictionary resource, defines it as an ongoing publication that is composed of a collection of different written works like editorials, articles, columns, reviews, poems, and short stories. Thus, this publication is written by many authors and is generally given a distinct periodical name. The content of the periodical is managed by the editor or, in some cases, the editorial board.

Journals, being the more specific term, tackle more particular subjects. They aim to inform the public about the new developments of a particular topic, discipline, or field – a good example is the “Clinical Epidemiology Journal.” These kinds of journals are being published on a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly basis. Scientific journals usually contain an abstract at the beginning of the text. The abstract sort of summarizes the whole content of the journal. Most, if not all, journals are longer than any standard article included in a professional magazine and usually include a long list of bibliographical references at the end of the entry.


1.A periodical is a more general term than the journal.
2.A journal can be a newspaper, magazine, scientific journals, and the like.
3.A journal can mean a record or events like a diary.
4.Journals are often more scholarly in nature compared to the general periodicals.

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