A journal is a specific type of academic publication. Like magazines, new parts of journals are published regularly throughout the year. This may be monthly, biannually (twice a year) or quarterly (every three months) and each of these parts is referred to as a journal issue.
Each journal issue contains a collection of articles (short pieces of written work). Articles are written by academic staff from universities and other research institutions. The articles provide information about current research and teaching and will be referred to during your studies.
As with books, within the first few pages of a journal issue, there will be a list of contents. These may include articles, reviews, editorials and other short pieces of informative writing.
There are 2 interfaces you can use to find journal articles, depending on how comprehensive you want your search to be:
If you want to do search for a specific e-journal article, or do a quick search for some full text articles on a topic, you could use the Article Search tab on the library home page. This will search across the full text e-journals available at QUB. See videos below on how to find e-journal articles via Article Search.
If you want to do a more comprehensive and detailed search of the research literature, a better option is to use bibliographic databases (often just referred to as 'databases'). These contain references and abstracts (summaries) of journal articles; they are not limited to QUB subscriptions and they allow you to set out your search in a more structured way. You will usually find more relevant and comprehensive results by using the bibliographic databases. For further information, see Bibliographic databases page.
You can set up email alerts within bibliographic databases to find out what new articles are being published in your area of interest; check out the Help screens in each database for instructions of how to do this.
If you want to see whether QUB subscribes to a particular journal (as opposed to a journal article), you can check the journal titles in the library catalogue:
Most of the current journal subscriptions at QUB are available as e-journals. Go to the E-Journals A-Z list to search for a particular journal eg Journal of Plasma Physics
Some of the older issues of journals are available in print format in the library. Use the library catalogue to search for print journals at QUB. Print journals are kept on mobile shelves on each floor of the library; see video below on Using the mobile shelving for print journals.