Journals are sometimes referred to as periodicals, serials or magazines. They are published at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly. Each issue has a volume number or part number and they usually contain a number of articles written by different authors. Many journals, particularly in the Arts and Humanities, come in print format but an increasing number, especially in Science and Medicine, are available online. New Scientist and the Harvard Business Review are examples of well-known journals.
Why use journals?
Journals provide more up-to-date information than is possible with a book. They also cover specific topics in more detail and they will often be included on your reading lists. Ask your tutors or Subject Librarian for more information on journals relevant to your subject area.
Finding journal articles
To find a specific article, you need to know the title of the journal and either the year the article was published or the volume number, for example, British Journal of Nursing, Volume 19, Issue 5. You will usually find these details in your reading list.
To find a journal article, search the QCat Library Catalogue for the title of the journal (not the article title). From the results page, click on the title so you can see the link to the online version if available. Click on the link and select the appropriate year, volume and issue.
For a print copy, the catalogue will tell you where the journal can be found.
Subject to copyright restrictions, articles from print journals may be photocopied (Multi-Functional Devices (MFDs) are available in all of the Libraries) and articles from online journals may be printed out. You will need to transfer money to the Print & Copy Purse on your Smart Card in order to pay for photocopying and printing.
The Article tab on the Library homepage also provides a straightforward way to search for articles about a particular topic or phrase. Enter your chosen words and you will see a list of articles from a range of full text sources.
If your search terms are general, you may get a large number of results. You may wish to refine the search using the advanced search option or the range of options along the side of the screen. Try to be as specific as you can with your search term. Subject Librarians are happy to give advice on using specific databases.
Tip: Use the facility to gather items of interest to a folder during your search session. You can email, save or export the bibliographic information.
Readings Online gives you access to journal articles and book extracts sourced for your module. To view the materials for a particular module, go to the Module Home page for the module on Queen’s Online and click the Readings Online link under Library Links.