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University of Wollongong Australia

Finding Information: Journals

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.

Understanding journal types

Journals may also be called serials, periodicals or magazines.

There are three basic types of journals:

  • academic or 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 industry jargon 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

How do I find journals?

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

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

Identify what a scholarly article looks like with our interactive webpage that describes each element.

Refereed journals

To verify a journal is refereed, search

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

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