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Psychology: Journal articles

Library support for the School of Psychology

Introduction - what is a journal article?

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.

Interpreting journal article references

Depending on the referencing style you are using, a journal article reference will look something like this:

Finding journal articles

There are 2 interfaces you can use to find journal articles:

  1. QUB Library Search can be a useful way to quickly find some full text articles on a topic. The Advanced Search option is recommended when searching for journal articles. See Library Search (Advanced Search) for search tips.
  2. Bibliographic databases will allow for more complex search strategies and the results are not limited to full text articles available at QUB. You will need to use the databases when you are carrying out a large scale literature review eg for a dissertation or thesis.  

See Planning your search strategy for tips on how to search for journal articles via Library Search or bibliographic databases. 

Finding a journal

If you want to see whether QUB subscribes to a particular journal (eg British Journal of Psychology), you can search for the journal title in Library Search.


Most of the current journal subscriptions at QUB are available as e-journals. Find the title in Library Search to connect to the full text.

Print journals

Some older issues of journals are available in print format in the library. Use Library Search to find the details of print journals at QUB. Use the location and shelfmark to locate the journal in the library.  Print journals are kept on mobile shelves on each floor of the library; see video below on Using the mobile shelving for print journals. 

Using the mobile shelving for print journals


Scanned readings

Some journal articles on your reading lists may be available under the relevant module code in Canvas. Ask your lecturer or contact Subject Librarian Carol Dunlop ( if you have any queries about these readings.