Journals are newspapers or magazines that cover a particular subject or profession. Each journal issue contains a number of articles, written by different authors, all of which will relate to the subject covered by the journal.
Journals are also called periodicals or serials, because they are published on an ongoing basis throughout the year - this can be weekly, monthly, quarterly etc.
Most journals are now available online.
The best way to find journal articles for your assignment is to use the databases for your subject area or DISCOVER@BradfordCollege.
Your tutor will expect you to use academic journals when researching and writing your assignments.
Why is it important to use Journals?
Have you been given a reading list for your course that includes journal articles?
Your tutor will usually give you the information as shown in the example below. This is called a journal reference (also called a citation). The more details you have about an article the easier it will be to find. The reference usually includes details of the author, title and date of the article and the journal in which it was published (and sometimes the country where it was published):
Cox, M. (2003) ‘Othello in black and white’ English Review Vol.13, no.4, pp.2-5
The reference can be broken down into different parts in order to identify the actual journal title and article it refers to:
Author of Article
Date of Publication
Journal article can be found in.
Volume of journal
Othello in black and white
Search for the journal title on the A to Z of Journal Titles. Off campus you will need to enter your College username and password.
The A to Z of Journal Titles provides access to the full text of over 20,000 journals in electronic format. Some of these journals are electronic versions of journals that are held in the Library, in our print collection. Some are journals that the Library does not have in our print collection, but which are made available as part of a database collection - Emerald, Computer Source, SPORTDiscus, General OneFile and Lexis Library for example.
Type in the title of your journal and click on search. You will see a list of matching titles. Click on Full-text Access and click on the database name that is listed. From here you should be able to browse different issues and search by keyword.
You can also search the Library Catalogue to check if the journal title is available as a print journal for reference in the Library.
If you do not have a journal reference but want to find journal articles for your project or assignment then the best place to start is to use DISCOVER@BradfordCollege or the databases for your subject to search for journal articles online. .
Databases are like search engines, but instead of searching the Internet, they search the contents of journals, books, reports, newspapers or magazines. The library subscribes to special academic databases that will provide you with content which has been evaluated and checked to ensure that the materials you find are reliable and of high quality.
Often the database will contain full text journal articles. There are also databases for images, news film, law reports, financial and statistical information.
Select your subject from the Subject drop down list on the A to Z Database List to display a list of databases for your subject area.
The advantage of using DISCOVER@BradfordCollege or the databases for your subject is that you can search by keyword. These resources can be accessed anywhere you have internet access using your College username and password
Search the Library Catalogue for print journals. You can only search by the journal title (eg Nursing Times) on the Library Catalogue.
If you are looking for a particular journal article then you should use the A to Z of Journal Titles.
Current and back copies of journals are kept on display in the Library.
Keywords or Search Terms
Use the project or assignment title to pick out keywords. Keywords are words that describe the information you are searching for. They are also known as search terms.
As most databases will search for exactly what you type in, you need to think of all possible synonyms (different words with the same meaning) and different spellings.
Combine different keywords or search terms in a single search, by using operators. The three most commonly used operators are AND, OR, NOT. These are known as Boolean operators. They can be used to broaden or narrow a search.
Search Tip: use quotation marks to search for phrases.
Evaluating Your Results
How do you evaluate what articles are most appropriate for your research?
Here are some helpful questions to ask:
Does the author work for a particular organisation such as a University?
Is the author appropriately qualified to provide the information?
Has the information been peer-reviewed? If an article has been peer reviewed it will have been evaluated or edited by other experts in the same field.
When was the article published? Does it matter for your topic?
Has the article been superseded?
What is the purpose or reason of the article?
Is the article objective? Does it give a balanced view? Is there hidden bias?
Has the author provided supporting evidence?
Does the article include references?
Does the author use emotive language?
Is there data or statistics provided?
Does it meet your requirements?
Does the information relate to countries you are interested in?
Is it at the right level? Is it too basic or too advanced?
Does it add to your understanding?
Google Scholar is a free resource that you can use to find scholarly literature, online reports and other academic and professional information. It includes freely available information that is not included in your library databases, such as reports from professional organsations. However, much of the scholarly information will not be available in full text, so you should use it alongside the databases to access the full article.
Bradford College Library has worked with Google Scholar to allow you to link through to full text articles that we provide access to straight from your Google Scholar results. To set up the full text links:
When you open up Google Scholar, you will see alongside some of your results the words 'Full Text Available'. Click on the link. You may see a page saying 'If the page does not display, then open the page in a new window'. Click on this link to view your article.