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Library Skills

Journals

Journals, sometimes called periodicals or serials, are scholarly magazines published on a regular basis, for example, weekly, monthly or quarterly and are subject specific.

Journals are generally organised by volume, and have multiple issues within that volume, each with a different number.  This information helps to identify different issues, by looking at the year, the volume and the issue number. Each issue containing a number of articles written by different authors. 

We have access to thousands of journals to support teaching and learning.  While some are in print format in the Charles Seale-Hayne Library, most are available electronically in our databases and ejournal collections


Journal articles are shorter than books and are written about very specific topics.  The articles are collated together and published within a journal.  These journal articles will represent the most recent research on that topic.

In each journal issue you will find a table of contents which will list the articles that appear in that issue by author and title.  The front page of an academic article will generally have an abstract.  This is a short summation of what you can expect from the article and is useful in helping you decide whether you feel the article will be of use to you or not.

 

This is an example of a front page from an academic article.  It contains the journal details, including title, volume number and issue.  It also contains the article title;  the authors; the DOI number; the abstract and subject keywords.

front page of a journal article, with arrows showing where the journal title, authors, doi, keywords, copyright info etc are

What is a DOI?

You will find that many online articles come with a DOI or Digital Object Identifier.  This is a string of numbers, letters and symbols that are used permanently to identify a particular article.  It helps you to locate an article as it is unique to that article and does not change.

You may see or be asked to find articles that are peer reviewed. However, what exactly does this mean?

When an academic submits an article to a peer reviewed journal it is sent to other academics working in a similar field. They read the submitted article to decide if the research is valid and make the decision as to whether the article will be published in their journal. 

The reviewers look for the proper use of research methods, the significance of the paper’s contribution to the existing literature, and integration of previous authors’ work on the topic. They then indicate to the journal editors whether they feel the article should be accepted, returned for revisions or rejected.

This evaluation ensures that the information contained within the article is accurate and well presented and gives that article academic credibility.

Print Journals in the Library

Not all of our journals are online. You will still find a few on the shelves on Level 0. Some are current subscriptions that have not been made available electronically, some are early editions of journals that are now electronic but pre-date the digitisation process.