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Article vs. Journal: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 16, 2023
An article is an individual piece of writing, often found in journals or magazines. A journal is a periodical publication containing various articles on specific subjects or fields.

Key Differences

An article is a distinct composition that presents information, analysis, or opinion on a particular topic. It can be found in newspapers, magazines, journals, and even online platforms. Conversely, a journal is a regular publication, often scholarly, that contains a collection of articles, studies, or papers on specific subjects or academic disciplines.
While an article serves to inform, argue, or entertain its readers about a single topic, a journal encompasses a broader theme, with its collection of articles focused on related or specific subjects, often within a particular academic field or area of interest.
An article can vary in length, from short news pieces to long-form essays or research papers. In contrast, a journal is typically a bound publication that releases new issues periodically, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually, with each issue containing multiple articles.
Authors often submit their articles to journals, especially in the academic world, where peer review and editorial processes ensure the quality and credibility of the content. On the other hand, a journal has an editorial board, which oversees content selection, peer review, and other publication standards.
In summary, while an article is an individual piece of written content focusing on a specific topic, a journal is a publication medium that houses multiple articles, often related in subject or theme, and is published at regular intervals.

Comparison Chart


Individual piece of writing.
Periodical publication.


Specific topic or subject.
Collection of articles on related subjects.


Can vary from short to long.
Contains multiple articles; overall lengthier.

Publication Frequency

Once, unless republished or syndicated.
Regularly, e.g., weekly, monthly, annually.


Inform, argue, or entertain on a single topic.
Present multiple pieces on a theme or academic field.

Article and Journal Definitions


A stipulation or item in a legal document.
The contract's article clearly states the terms of payment.


A daily record of experiences, ideas, or reflections kept regularly.
Writing in his journal every night helped him process his emotions.


A piece of writing on a particular subject in a publication.
She wrote an article about the environmental impacts of fast fashion.


A periodical dealing with a particular subject or profession.
The medical journal highlighted groundbreaking research on heart disease.


An individual item or object.
Each article of clothing was inspected before the fashion show.


A record of financial transactions in accounting.
Every sale is recorded in the company's journal.


A particular section or item of a series in a written document.
Refer to article 5 for further clarification.


A daily record of events or personal observations.
She keeps a journal to document her travels.


A short composition on a particular topic, often journalistic.
The magazine's feature article this month is about sustainable travel.


A newspaper or magazine that deals with a particular subject or professional activity.
The science journal is published quarterly.


An individual thing or element of a class; a particular object or item
An article of clothing.
Articles of food.


A personal record of occurrences, experiences, and reflections kept on a regular basis; a diary.


An official record of daily proceedings, as of a legislative body.


What is the primary purpose of an article?

An article is written to inform, argue, or entertain about a specific topic.

Can an article be found outside of a journal?

Yes, articles can be found in newspapers, magazines, websites, and other platforms.

Can one journal contain articles from various fields?

While many journals focus on a specific field, interdisciplinary journals may cover multiple subjects.

How frequently is a journal published?

A journal can be published weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, or at other regular intervals.

Are journals always academic in nature?

No, while many journals are academic, there are also non-academic journals that cover various topics.

Do journals always have physical print versions?

No, many journals are digital-only, especially in today's online-centric world.

Is an op-ed considered an article?

Yes, an op-ed is a type of article expressing an opinion or viewpoint.

Are all articles factual?

While many articles present facts, some, like opinion pieces, are subjective.

What's a peer-reviewed journal?

It's a journal where submitted articles are reviewed by experts in the field before publication.

Who writes articles?

Journalists, researchers, experts, or any individual knowledgeable about a topic can write articles.

Can I start my own journal?

Yes, with the right resources and expertise, anyone can start a journal, whether in print or online.

Can articles be fictional?

Yes, some publications feature fictional or creative writing articles.

What's the main difference between an article and a blog post?

Articles are often more formal and researched, while blog posts can be informal and personal.

How long is a typical article?

Article length varies, from short news pieces to long-form essays or research papers.

What's the difference between a journal and a magazine?

Journals are often scholarly or specialized, while magazines are usually broader and cater to general audiences.

How can I tell if a journal is reputable?

Look for peer review, established publishers, and citations as indicators of a journal's reputation.

Are articles always written by a single author?

No, articles can have multiple authors or be collaborative pieces.

What is a journal entry in accounting?

It's a record of a financial transaction, noting credits and debits.

Why are journal articles important for research?

Journal articles undergo rigorous review, ensuring credibility and providing valuable insights for researchers.

Can journals be personal?

Yes, personal journals or diaries are records of individual experiences and reflections.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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