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Libraries and Learning Skills


A guide to using the library's resources

a row of Modern law reviews

What are journals and why are they important?

Journals are regular scholarly publications which contain articles on specific subjects.  They are important in academic research for a number of reasons:

  • they are the main forum by which research is published
  • they can explore a narrow topic in depth
  • they contain current or recent research findings
  • they are often peer-reviewed so that research findings are checked by other subject experts.

How do I search for journal articles for my assignment?

There are two main ways to search for journal articles:

  • The library website search box will retrieve journal articles from a selection of the Library's collections 
  • Databases - the University Library subscribes to a selection of databases providing access to abstracts, indexes and full-text articles. For more information on using databases, click on Databases 

What are databases?

Research databases contain:

  • abstracts (short descriptions of what an article or paper is about)
  • full journal articles (if they are part of the subscription package)
  • conference papers on specific subjects

Legal databases contain:

  • law reports (cases)
  • legislation
  • law journals
  • EU and International material
  • a selection of specialist books

How do I search for journal articles using databases?

  • Go to the Databases page on the library website and find the database that you would like to search
  • Click on the blue title link (if you are off campus you may be asked to enter your student email address and Blackboard password)

How do I search for newspaper articles?

The following databases provide access to newspapers:

Searching for journal articles in...

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Electronic Journals

If you have a reference to a journal article, see if it is available in full-text electronically by searching for the title of the journal (not the article) on the Electronic Journals A-to-Z


colourful curved lines coming out of an open book

Search e-journals