Spend a very worthwhile 30 minutes or so on our highly recommended e-tutorial LETSbegin. This tutorial will:
'Periodical' is an umbrella term for newspapers, magazines, journals - any title published regularly or irregularly. The Library subscribes to thousands of scholarly journals both in print and (mostly) online. You will come across journal articles many times in the course of your studies; they may appear on your reading list and your lecturers will encourage you to consult journal articles when you're doing research, particularly when preparing your literature review.
Journal articles are excellent sources of scholarly information because they can provide very in-depth, up-to-date coverage of a subject; they are typically very structured and written by experts in a given field. Crucially, like books, journal articles that appear in scholarly academic journals are "peer-reviewed" which means they have been critically reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experts before being okay-ed for publication. All of this means that you (as researchers) are assured of the excellent quality of information in a published journal article.
When you have a reference to a journal article and you know the title of the journal you are looking for, as well as the author, article title, volume, issue and date details, use the A-Z Journals tab on the Library homepage. Check for access to the journal in the first instance, then the year you need, and finally the volume and issue numbers. When you've got this far, you'll scroll down the table of contents to find the article you're looking for, then click on PDF for full text. (See video help right)
If you have a reference to a journal article but you think elements of it may be incorrect (for example incorrect date, incorrect volume | issue number etc.) Google Scholar can be a useful tool for checking what's gone wrong. Enclose the title of the article you're looking for in quotation marks and search. Don't forget to change your settings in Google Scholar so that you get a quick link to our subscriptions on the right side of the page when an article is available.
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What does a reference to a journal article look like?
Here's how to find a specific journal article using the Library's A-Z Journals list:
> Click on the Databases tab above to find out which databases we recommend for law and government topics, and how to search them.