Get started finding different kinds of information for your research
Not all journals are the same!
What are Peer Reviewed Journals?
- Also called scholarly, academic, refereed.
- Written by academics for an academic audience.
- Peer review indicates that the articles submitted for publication in the journal has gone through a quality control process. It has been assessed by other academic experts in the field as sound and credible in terms of methodology, argument etc.
- Usually available in electronic format but sometimes we provide hard copy access.
- Electronic versions of the journal are usually available via library research databases and we may provide access to a journal through several databases.
- Don't pay for articles you find on the Internet. If you are not sure how to access the library subscription ask a librarian.
- Some journals are published in open access versions that are freely available on the Internet
- In the pre internet days, journal titles were a clearly defined entity but these days journal titles are often subsumed into the research databases or websites.
Why do I need to use them?
- Academic journals are one of the main ways of communicating academic research.
- Useful to browse the latest editions of journals to keep up with the latest research in your academic field.
How do I find them?
- Library Research databases
- Ulrich's Web
- Search Smart Subject Guides
- Directory of open access journals
- Library collection
- Other libraries
What are trade journals?
- Not usually peer reviewed
- Contains articles about new trends, best practices and products for a specific industry or profession.
- Written by a professional or a journalist with experience in the field for a professional audience often published by a trade organisation.
- Maybe a bit glossy with advertising.
- May contain some references and citations.
- Shorter articles and may use specialised terminology.
- May contain interviews with academics about their research or reports of academic research.
- Academics may write for these journals.
Why would I use a trade journal?
- Timely coverage of current trends.
- Can provide a good overview of a topic that will increase your understanding of practice in the profession and current issues facing practiitioners.
- Can simplify complex research to help basic understanding.
What Library Tools would I use to find it?
- Some research databases
What are popular journals?
- Written for the general public with no expertise in the subject.
- Contains articles about current events, popular culture, opinion, self help, advertising mainly for entertainment and the goal is to make money through sales and advertising. e.g. Psychology Today.
- May contain information about research but second and third hand reports.
- Written by staff writers. Free lancers credentials usually not mentioned.
- Glossy, full colour with plenty of advertising.
- No citations or references of sources.
Why would I need them?
It would be rare that you would need popular journals for research. But they may be useful for historical, socological or cultural research projects.
What Library Tools would I use to find them?
- Not very many popular journals in the collection both online and hard copy.
- May be some copies on Readings if you are studying a particular journal in class.
- Mainly through other libraries (e.g. public libraries)/ Local access freely online
- Some historical examples in Special Collections. e.g. Women's Weekly