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University of Wollongong Australia

Finding resources: Finding journals

How do I find journals?

There are a few ways to find journal articles at UOW Library. 

  • Use the Library Search Engine to search across 80% of our databases for articles on your subject
  • Search Library databases to find journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, research reports and more. Try searching by keyword, author, or journal title.
  • When using Google Scholar or other online search engines, install the Library Toolbar so you can right click and reload links to journal articles and get access to the full text (providing the Library subscribes to that journal).
  • Use the A-Z Journal List to browse by subject, or do a journal title search for a specific title.

Understanding journal types

Journals may also be called serials, periodicals or magazines. There are three basic types of journals:

* academic / refereed journals are the most relevant for research purposes

trade journals provide industry or single topic information

popular journals are useful for study in areas of current affairs and popular culture

Academic journals

Trade journals

Popular journals

Refereed Generally not refereed but may contain individual refereed articles Not refereed
Specialised audience Industry or topic based Wide audience
Reports on original research Includes case studies and industry news Broad content focusing on current events and news
Often includes review articles Short articles Short articles
Uses technical language Uses jargon from the industry / profession Non technical, often simple language
Includes author's affiliation Authors details may be included May not include an author  
Includes abstracts May include a short abstract No abstracts
Includes many references Usually only 3-4 references No references
  Advertising usually restricted to an industry / profession Includes extensive advertising

What is a journal?

Journals are published at regular intervals under the same title. They contain articles relating to a specific subject area.

Academic journals are the most relevant for research purposes. Articles in academic journals are usually refereed (also called peer reviewed).

If you are unsure whether a publication is a journal, check to see if it has a volume and/or issue number.

Why would I use a journal?

Journals are a source of current information and are a good way to keep up to date with research and developments in your subject area. They contain information that may never be published in books.

Refereed journals

To verify a journal is refereed, search

Some databases allow you to limit your search results to academic/refereed journals.