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Library Guide for Nursing, Psychotherapy & Community Health

Journal Articles

This page will help guide you in identifying journal articles, as well as how to do both a broad basic article search, as well as using Scholarly Journals to find specific articles from your reading lists or other bibliographies/reference lists.

- Once you have a handle on journal articles and know what you are looking for, you will start conducting more focused, in-depth article searching. Please see our Databases section on the right, for help in searching a focused, specific range of resources.

What is a Journal Article?

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.
So what is a journal article?

Journal articles are smaller pieces of academic work, which are published in scholarly journals, and are focused on specific topics and research areas. Whilst books will be more broad and cover a wider area, 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.

Journal Articles and scholarly research will have a slightly different look and layout than regular non-journal articles (e.g. newspaper or magazines).
See our quick video below on Recognising Journal Articles

How to find specific journal articles in Library Search

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 our Journal Finder to go straight to the Journal you need. Journal Finder is part of our main Library Search.
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.

  Check out our LETSbegin module on Locating books and articles from your reading lists.

See our short video on Finding Journal Articles in Library Search also.

Use Library Search to do a quick broad search for Journal Articles, using the "Content Type -> Articles" filter 


Useful Tips for finding specific Journal Articles

  • Sometimes links to articles using Library Search can be incomplete or glitchy. If you find an article and the Full Text link does not work, or the page it brings you to says we don't have access, don't worry just yet. Take a note of the article information - title, author, and importantly the Journal publication, year, volume and issue number. You can then use this information to go back through the Journal Finder and go straight to the journal you need.
    As DCU Library subscribes to a wide range of journals and databases, sometimes information can be found through more than just one resource, so even if one resource says it's not available, it may be available through some other of our subscriptions.

  • Using Google Scholar can be a useful aide in your research and for making sure information in hard-to-find journal articles is correct. If you have having trouble finding a particular article and think something may be wrong, e.g. incorrect issue/volume, year, or author, put in the full title of the article enclosed in quotation marks "" and hit search.
    Make sure to link your Google Scholar to DCU Library : Go to Settings > Library Links > select Dublin City University - Find It@DCU.
    Using this link will show you when we have subscriptions and full text links to articles so you can access them straight away.