Academic Journals are peer-reviewed periodicals issued by an institution, corporation or a professional or scholarly society in which researchers publish current news or reports in the form articles of their research work.
The term academic journal applies to all scholarly publications in all fields, from scientific and quantitative social sciences to humanities and qualitative social sciences.
In content, academic journals usually consist of articles that present one's original research as well as reviews of previous works. Theoretical discussions and articles are published here critically reviewing already published works such as books. The frequency of release of these may be annual, semi-annual or quarterly. Academic or professional publications on the other hand that do not undergo peer-review are called professional magazines.
Academic Journals serve as forums of researchers for the introduction and presentation of new research works for scrutiny, and critique of existing works of research. Its primary purpose is to distribute knowledge of the most recent or latest researches and breakthroughs, and not to make money. Most of the time, highly specific knowledge are provided for students and expert audience. Academic journal article contributors publish their works to establish or improve their professional ranking and reputation.
Academic journals are important as these greatly contribute to the validation and at the same time dissemination of breakthrough knowledge. Theories change over time as new sets of knowledge continue to be discovered by researchers.
Some well-founded theories could even be debunked in the future as new discoveries prove alternative explanations for particular phenomena. An example of this would be the series of theories of evolution that constantly tries to prove the evolution of living things in the course of time. Until now, studies are still being conducted to find out the exact path of evolution of humans, as well as other life forms. Another would be the changing views on the cause of extinction of dinosaurs, or breakthroughs in conditions like AIDS or certain types of cancer.
Learning never ends and this has continually been proven by academic journals. Through academic journals, researchers and other experts altogether find answers to man's never-ending questions about the Earth and all the processes it and all matter it holds undergo or have undergone.
Types of Academic Journal Articles
Journal articles come in different types, depending upon the field and specific type of journals. Usually, academic journals include:
Letters/Communications. These are short descriptions of important latest study or research findings which are usually considered urgent for immediate publication. Examples of these would be important breakthroughs regarding cures or treatments for previously incurable conditions, or cure for a particular outbreak of disease, like for example swine flu.
Research Notes. Research notes are typically short descriptions which are considered less urgent compared to Letters. These contain information on current research findings of an expert or a researcher.
Articles. These are usually around 5-20 pages and are complete descriptions of current original research findings.
Supplemental Articles. These mostly consist of large-volume tabular data that details all the results of current research.
Review Articles. Review articles, unlike the previous types, do not cover original research but instead accumulate results of multiple articles on a particular field or topic into a coherent narrative about the state of the art in the said field. They provide information about the subject and at the same time provide journal references to the original research.
Here are some examples of academic journals in some fields: