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Media & Culture


What is a journal?

A journal is a collection of articles, written by different people.  A journal will focus on a topic or subject and the articles published within it all relate to that topic.  They are published at regular intervals and can be a key source of research and academic information.

There are several different types of journal that you can access:

  • Academic/scholarly journals - these include research and are often peer reviewed (other experts in the field evaluate the article before it is accepted for publication to ensure quality is maintained).
  • Trade or professional magazines - aimed at people interested in or working in a particular area.  Often include articles, reviews, features and news.

The advantages of using journals include:

  • Access to current research
  • Coverage of very specific topics

However, they don’t go into as much detail as books.


Understanding journal references

To access journals, you will need to understand a journal reference.  They will generally include these details in this order (most journals will have a volume and issue number but some may not):

Example of parts of a journal reference

Authors Year published Article title Journal title Volume Issue Pages
WILSON, R.T. and B.D. TILL, 2008. Airport advertising effectiveness: an exploratory field study. Journal of advertising, 37 (1), 59-72  

When included in a reference list, this journal article reference will look like this:

WILSON, R.T. and B.D. TILL, 2008. Airport advertising effectiveness: an exploratory field study. Journal of advertising, 37(1), 59-72

How do I find journals?

Find an entire journal and access it by searching for it in the Library Catalogue (you will only be able to access titles to which the Library subscribes).

How do I find articles within journals?

You can search for articles on your topic, regardless of which journal they are in, by using the 'Articles' search option on the Catalogue to do this at a basic level.  Or for more flexible and in-depth searching, use the eResources relevant to your subject (listed in the Articles & eResources menu on the left).

You could also try searching Google Scholar for wider literature, including articles.  Some will link you to the full text but not all will. 

How do I get articles you don't have access to?

Final year students, postgraduates and staff can use the Inter-Library Loans (ILL) service to request, for free, any material the library doesn't have.  First and second years should discuss their need with their Information Librarian who may be able to authorise an ILL if no other option is available.