What is an Academic Journal

Many students, who are struggling with their first serious research, may ask what an academic journal is. It is a periodical written by specialists and published by an institution, corporation or scholarly society. The main peculiarity of the journal is its’ scientific direction. Reports, current events and actual information about the researches are always included in this kind of journal.

What Is Published?


Usually, academic journals include articles and interviews that somehow show us some specialists’ original research or a review on any other work. There may be also some critical articles about previously published works. All the info is included in articles of different kinds, but we’ll talk about it later. Academic journals can be published once a year, 6 or 3 months. The important thing is that these journals are peer-reviewed and if they’re not, they are called professional magazines.

Academic journals play the role of forums for scientists, who present their works there, write and read some critique material on their or any other works. The primary aim is to deliver knowledge of latest researches and breakthroughs to ones, who need it. This is what distinguishes academic journals from magazines, who publish articles mostly to make money.

Types of Academic Journal Articles


There are different types of academic articles, they deliver different data in different forms.
For example:
– Letters – short information about the latest researches which are considered to be urgent and have to be published as soon as possible. These can be, for example, some important discoveries in medicine, like the info about finding cures or treatments for previously incurable diseases.
– Research Notes – something similar to Letters, but not as urgent. These are short descriptions of the researches that are less important.
– Articles. Take from 5 up to 20 pages and are, in fact, full descriptions of original research findings and news.
– Supplemental Articles. Ones with a large amount of information, they consist of large-volume tabular data that tell us all the results of current researches.
– Review Articles don’t contain information about original researches but review one or more works published before. These articles usually provide some data on the subject, including references to the original works.

Whom It May Be Useful For?


As you can see, academic journals contain mostly specific information. They are published for researchers themselves, specialists of different fields and university students. Main contributors publish their articles and researches in order to improve or establish their professional career and reputation.

The value of academic journals is huge because the science world is constantly changing, theories become proven or denied, and specialists of different fields should always follow those changes and know about them. Nobody can know everything, but academic journals help to increase existing knowledge and somehow inspire for new researches.

Some theories that we find unchangeable could be debunked along with the development of science, new discoveries might find new phenomena and present changes in conditions of known ones. For instance, the evolution phenomenon is widely discussed nowadays. Tomorrow scientists can find something new about it that will change all the knowledge that we had earlier. And surely, this info will be published in the latest academic journal. Another data can explain us some details of dinosaurs’ life and their probable contact with human beings or the treatment of AIDS or another disease.

“The more we live, the more we learn” as it is said, you can find some appropriate info in academic journals, no matter if you’re a student or a scientist. University students can find the base for the coming research and make references to the original material; scientist can find some news about studies and researcher from an appropriate field.

You can find all the issues on academic journal websites if you need a particular one. Also don’t forget there is academic journals list that is divided into categories, so you can find an appropriate one by name or field it’s specialized in.