Definition of a Psychology Journal

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Journals, periodicals that focus on particular topics, are divided into two types: professional or trade journals and academic or scholarly journals. Usually, journals are not intended for entertainment or for the general public.

1 Function

Psychology trade journals are intended for professionals in the field. Articles usually discuss current news and trends in psychology, as well as practical information for those in the field. Academic psychology journals are intended for scholars, researchers and students; they usually present original findings written by researchers or reviews of original research.

2 Features

The articles in a psychology trade journal are usually evaluated by editorial staff, who may be experts in the field, but the articles are not peer-reviewed. Articles in academic psychology journals are often evaluated by peer reviewers or referees who are experts in the field.

3 Misconceptions

Some psychology publications are not considered journals but magazines intended for the general public. The articles—usually evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field—are often secondary discussions of others' research and might include opinion. “Psychology Today” and “Scientific American Mind” are examples of psychology-related popular magazines.

4 Examples

The American Psychological Association's “Monitor on Psychology” and “American Psychologist” are examples of psychology trade journals. “Neuropsychology” and “Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology” are examples of academic psychology journals.

Based in Southern California, Lynette Arceneaux has worked as a writer and editor since 1995. Her works have appeared in anthologies, such as "From the Trenches" and "Black Box," in the magazine "Neo-opsis," and on numerous websites. Arceneaux, who holds a Master of Arts degree, currently focuses on the topics of health and wellness, lifestyle, family and pets.