Academic articles usually provide the most current research in a field and are published in academic journals, which are usually published quarterly or monthly, although this can vary. Each journal has a particular focus as well, ranging from very broad to extremely focused. For example, Nature is a multidisciplinary science journal, and at the other end of the spectrum is Journal of Marine Biotechnology, which is interested in "novel data on the biotechnology of aquatic organisms." It is important to do research on journals you're interested in publishing in to ensure that your work aligns with the focus on the journal. Many journals also have guidelines about how to submit your article for publication and if you're allowed to submit the article to other journals at the same time or not.
Articles tend to address very specific topics or research questions and will generally cite other articles and foundational monographs.
In order for a paper to get published, a paper goes through an extensive review process. Submission isn't the end of your research, more likely it's the first step in a process of revision. In this stage you will communicate with with an editor who will recommend revisions. Once these revisions are made, the article is reviewed again. After being review the editor makes a final decision about whether or not your article gets published.
After all this work, revisions big and small, the paper is finished and hopefully going to be published. Your research is going out into the world and while this may be exciting you are not finished quite yet. Next comes contract negotiation. It is your responsibility to negotiate the copyright of your article.
Check out these resources on writing journal articles: