A periodical devoted to disseminating original research and commentary on current developments in a specific discipline, subdiscipline, or field of study (example: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology), usually published in quarterly, bimonthly, or monthly issues sold by subscription (click here to see an example). Journal articles are usually written by the person (or persons) who conducted the research. Longer than most magazine articles, they almost always include a bibliography or list of works cited at the end. In journals in the sciences and social sciences, an abstract usually precedes the text of the article, summarizing its content. Most scholarly journals are peer-reviewed. Scholars often use a current contents service to keep abreast of the journal literature in their fields of interest and specialization. See also: impact factor.
A library usually binds the all the issues for a given publication year in one or more annual volumes or converts its print issues to microform. Articles from some journals are available in digital format in full-text bibliographic databases, usually by licensing agreement. Some journal publishers also provide an electronic version accessible via the World Wide Web. Abbreviated jour. Compare with magazine and journal of commentary. See also: archival journal, commercial journal, core journal, early journal, electronic journal, hybrid journal, interdisciplinary journal, letters journal, LIS journal, methods journal, multidisciplinary journal, synoptic journal, technical journal, and trade journal.
Also refers to a record of events, experiences, thoughts, and observations kept on a regular basis by an individual for personal use. Writers often keep a daily journal to record ideas and material that may subsequently be incorporated into their works. Click here to connect to an online exhibition of The Endeavor Journal of James Cook, courtesy of the National Library of Australia. The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition are another historic example. Synonymous in this sense with diary. See also: overland journal.