Unlike general interest and trade magazines, academic journals are much more scholarly in nature and are usually published by a university or an academic society or organization.
Often academic journals are peer-reviewed (also known as "refereed"). Peer-reviewed journals are highly valued by academic libraries because they contain articles that have been screened by an author's peers (people who work in the same field as the author). Typically, expert reviewers will evaluate the journal's methodology, merit, and overall unique contribution to research in a specific discipline. Depending on the type of search, you may limit your results to include only peer-reviewed articles.
Students often rely on academic journals when preparing the most sophisticated assignments that require knowledge of the latest scholarly research.