Academic articles are written by professionals in a given field. They are edited by the authors' peers and often take years to publish. Non-academic articles are written for the general public. They are published quickly and can be written by anyone. There is no such thing as bad journalism, but there are poor stories or reports. A story with no sources, facts, or evidence is called rumor. When you read about an event in the news, try to find out what happened. Was it really as bad as reported? Did someone get hurt? Is this event causing other problems for the country/world?
Academic writers have the opportunity to research their topics thoroughly. They can also submit their work directly to journals or publishers for review. Academic writers are usually employed by universities or other institutions. Although they may write for profit companies or individuals self-employed, their main purpose is to promote scholarship rather than make money. Non-academic writers are usually independent journalists or bloggers who cover news instead of writing scholarly papers. They may report on events or issues that have been discussed in academic circles but not yet published, such as conference presentations or journal articles. Some non-academic writers have become famous for their work, such as Matt Drudge or Jon Stewart. Others may never receive attention beyond their own community.
Non-academic articles are intended for a broad audience. They are immediately published and may be authored by anybody. Their language is informal and relaxed, with some slang. The author may or may not be supplied, and no credentials will be listed. Some non-academic writers supply only an opening line or two and let others fill in the rest.
Non-academic journals are published continuously throughout the year. Although their focus tends to be on one topic, many have wide scope. For example, Science has been described as focusing on "everything scientific", while Nature focuses solely on science. Many non-academic magazines have a narrow focus. For example, Psychology Today has been called a "broadly focused general interest magazine".
Non-academic websites provide information on many topics in several fields. Because they are not published periodically, all content is new. Non-academic writers usually are employees of companies or organizations that publish these items online. Academics often conduct original research and write up their findings in scholarly journals. However many important issues are already resolved and done with and so cannot be reported upon within the time constraints of academic publication models. In addition, academics must also balance the need to publish with the demands of managing a full-time job and family life. Thus, they often choose to publish in more popular venues such as newspaper blogs, e-zines and online magazines.
A scientific periodical directed at experts, scholars, and researchers is known as an academic journal. Articles are often produced by subject matter specialists and contain more technical terminology. They include unique research, data-driven conclusions, footnotes or endnotes, and, more often than not, an abstract and bibliography. A magazine that covers topics within a specific field and is intended for an audience in addition to scholars is called a professional journal. These publications tend to have less formal writing and can be more subjective. A book that has both scholarly articles and popular content aimed at a general audience is called a hybrid book.
The word "journal" comes from the French word journalie which means daily record. In modern usage, a journal is any regularly issued publication such as a newspaper or magazine. However, in the past it could also be a collection of writings by a single author or group of authors. Today, this is called an anthology or compilation.
Books, on the other hand, can only be written by one author or editor. This means that each volume contains only one set of stories or ideas. Books can be further divided into original works (no copies available elsewhere) and reprint works (copies available from other publishers). Reprint works may be updated with new material or corrected errors found in the original version. Some originals are so important that they are still referred to by their old title even though there's a reprint available.