Finding journal articles

Finding journal articles

If you are researching a topic, whether it is for a weekly seminar, an essay or a longer term project such as a dissertation or thesis, you will probably want to find out what has already been written. The Library provides access to a range of academic journals which contain articles that you can read to learn more about the topic you are interested in. A journal is any publication that is issued in parts (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually). Academic journals are peer reviewed which mean that the articles are aimed at an academic audience and have been checked for quality.

Journal articles appear regularly on reading lists. To find a specific article, you can search Library search for the article title. If you are having trouble finding the article, an alternative route is to search for the journal title in Library search.

You can also use Library search to search for articles on a particular topic. When you search Library search in Catalogue mode (the default option), you will see a preview of the articles which are relevant to your search. You can also choose to search for articles specifically using Articles mode. This searches within a range of Library databases. You can click on the subject folders to choose a different set of resources to search within. Not all of the articles which appear in Library search will be available in full text for you to read. Follow the WebBridge links to see whether the full text is available, and to access it where it is.

It is also possible to search resources individually. This will often give you better results than searching across several resources in Library search. You can see which resources are relevant to your subject by going to the Electronic Resource and Database Menu, and choosing the subject you are interested in.

Abstracting and indexing resources/Full text resources

There are two main types of resource: abstracting and indexing resources and full text resources. You can use both types of resource to search for articles, but abstracting and indexing resources will only tell you where a particular article is published (sometimes called a citation or a reference), rather than providing access to the article itself. They may also provide a summary of the article which you can use to help you to decide whether it is worth reading the whole thing (this is usually called an abstract).

Using an abstracting and indexing resource is therefore a two stage process - you use the resource to find references to articles that you may be interested in reading, and then you go to a different resource, usually Library search or the Classic catalogue, to find out whether you can get hold of the article itself through the Library. The ISI Citation Indexes from Web of Knowledge are an example of a widely used abstracting and indexing resource. When using Web of Knowledge, there is an option whereby you can check the Classic catalogue for a particular journal by clicking Full Text underneath each result.

Full text resources vary in terms of whether all or only some of the searchable articles are provided in full text through the resource. Many resources provide access to some articles in full and some as citations only. Ingenta is an example of this kind of resource.


Watch our video on finding the full text of articles:


Where the full text of an article is not available through the Library, it may be possible to get hold of the article from another library, by submitting an inter library loan request.


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