If you imagine a body of water representing article coverage for each type of publication, then an academic journal can be thought of as a very deep and narrow trench while a newpaper can be seen as a broad and shallow pond. The amount of detail, the breadth or narrowness of the topic selected, the amount of time spent drafting the article, the commitment to precision are all factors that play a role in determining an article's length and depth.
|Back to Main Chart||Academic Journals||Substantial
|Article Coverage||Articles are generally lengthy and devoted to one very specific, narrow subject or piece of research||Articles are often lengthy and range from in-depth reporting and analysis to opinion and general interest features||Articles are often brief and provide general information without going into great detail||Articles cover a vast array of topics, but content is usually determined by current events|
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This article discusses a single study conducted by researchers in the field of abnormal psychology on a group of bulimic women. The immediate results of this study would be of interest primarily to other specialists in this field.
This article reports recent findings by a panel of sports medicine experts. It covers this topic to the extent that it educates and holds the interest of the audience.
This article describes one person's personal battle with eating disorders as told by that person. It covers eating disorders in the context of a personal story of triumph over adversity, rather than reporting new research in this field.
In the example below the topic of gymnasts with eating disorders is a part of "the countdown to 1996 Atlanta games." It is not always so obvious what prompts an editor to publish a story. A concientious researcher will take into account which related current events may be causing a particular story to appear.