What is a journal?

A journal is a type of publication published periodically, and composed of articles written by different authors. A journal usually focuses on a specific discipline, field of study, or topic area, and is intended for a specific audience, rather than for the general public. 

An article is a short piece of writing on a specific topic. In journals, articles most often present some sort of original research and are usually peer-reviewed. Articles tend to contain new and developing research, though it should be remembered that the publication process can take a year or two, so research presented in an article may be nearly a year old. Articles allow researchers to periodically posit new ideas and the share the progress of their research with one another. 

An abstract is a brief summary of a piece of writing.

An issue is an individual release of a journal. Journals may publish more than one issue per year. 

A volume is all of the issues published in a year.

Journals are also called "periodicals" or "serials", simply meaning that they are a type of publication created periodically.

A Periodical is a publication produced periodically, for example, newspapers, magazines, and some journals.

A Serial is a publication produced as a series, and they may or may not be periodicals. Examples of serials include yearbooks, indexes, and some books and journals. Note: Series and serials are different. A series of books, for instance, is a collection of independent, but related stories, while a book serial is one story published in parts. A book released weekly chapter by chapter in a newspaper would be an example of a serial. 

What is original research?

Original research is the research done by an individual or group of individuals. It is their own ideas, work, and the data and conclusions produced by that work. Original research is considered a primary source, and is in the form of datasets, reports, and other documentation of the work.

An article is considered original research if it is a report of a piece of research written by the people who actually conducted the research. The article will describe the researcher's hypothesis, research methods, results, and conclusions. 

What is peer-review?

Peer-review is a process where a work is assessed by others and is approved, critiqued, or rejected.

peer-reviewed article is an article which has been assessed by the author's peers to determine if it is an acceptable piece of research for publication. 

Journals in Folklore Studies

Research related to folklore can be found in journals for a variety of disciplines, such as literature, history, art, anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Likewise, there are several publications devoted solely to folklore research. Many universities with Folklore Studies programs and associations of folklorists produce journals in Folklore Studies.

Cultural Analysis

Cultural Analysis is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to investigating expressive and everyday culture. The journal features analytical research articles, but also includes notes, reviews, and cross-disciplinary responses. Cultural Analysis is global in scope, with an international editorial board.

Ethnologia Europaea

Ethnologia Europaea is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal, founded in 1967, focusing on European cultures and societies and exploring issues in practice and ethics in folklore studies. In 2015 it was adopted by the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) as its flagship journal. 


Published by the American Folklore Society, Folklore has been in existence since 1878 and holds articles on folklore and folkloristics. It prints analyses, debates, reviews, and bibliographies. Though a North American publication, the journal endeavors to include both North American and European research in its issues. 


Under the oversight of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research (ISFNR), Fabula publishes scholarship on historical and comparative folklore studies in a number of languages. 

Journal of Folklore Research

Originally the Journal of the Folklore Institute, the Journal of Folklore Research, overseen by Indiana University, covers current research in the field, including examinations of the history of folklore and ethnomusicology studies, but focuses on the fieldwork experience and practices.

Journal of American Folklore

Running since 1888, the Journal of American Folklore by the American Folklore Society prints articles both on research findings and analyses and on issues of concern in the field. 

Marvels & Tales

Marvels & Tales of Wayne State University publishes international research on fairy tales.

Lore and Language

Running from 1969 to 2011, Lore and Language at the University of Sheffield functioned as a newsletter and forum on topics related to cultural traditions. It encouraged young scholars to be involved in the field and to present their research. 

Contemporary Legend

Contemporary Legend, the annual journal of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research, presents original research findings and theoretical analyses on all aspects of contemporary legend. The articles range from case studies of individual legends, historical analogues and exploration of legends in society, to analyses of performances and transmission, form, meaning and function. The journal also includes reviews, an annual bibliography covering books, essays and theses, and sections on contemporary legend in literature and in film.