Journal articles

Journal articles

A journal is a learned periodical dealing with a specialised academic subject. 

Key reasons to use journal articles

  • They are usually more up-to-date than books
  • Well-chosen articles will get you more marks (for demonstrating discrimination and relevance)
  • Get ideas on concise, academic writing (and how to reference)
  • Journals are never out on loan
  • Electronic articles are accessible anywhere, 24:7.

How to find journals

A reference to a journal article usually looks something like this:

Peck, N. (1998) 'Eight Cs of caring', Contemporary Nursing. 7(3) pp.15-20.

The journal title is shown in italics. In this example it is Contemporary Nursing. Print copies of journals are organised alphabetically by title in the Learning Resources Centres.

Search the catalogue (by Journal Title) to locate print or electronic versions. Or, use the A-Z list of electronic journals (accessible from the Digital Library page). 

Finding journal articles on a topic

The university has thousands of journals containing literally millions of articles. As explained above, the articles are not listed on the catalogue, just the Journal Title. So, we have bought special subject indexes to help you locate articles on your favourite topics. These are known as 'databases'.  By typing a few keywords into these powerful databases you save yourself hours of checking piles of old journals.

As well as giving you the basic reference details (author, title of journal, title of article, date published, page numbers) the databases also provide abstracts which summarise the text. Reading an abstract is a good idea because some article titles sound useful but the full article may turn out to be totally irrelevant to your research.

Click on the Databases for my subject page for more information.

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