To find articles you really need to understand the journals they're published in. Let's start with a little vocabulary to clarify the different terms you'll hear:
A Journal / Magazine / Newspaper is a Serial / Periodical
These are ongoing subscriptions.
"Serial" and "Periodical" are broader, generic terms. Journals, magazines and newspapers are types of serials/periodicals.
A Monograph is a Book
A one-time purchase. A single item.
A "novel" is a type of book (fiction), not another term for a book. You only use novels in literature courses.
Books provide more general, established information. Sometimes a book can be a collection of essays or articles, in which case it's an edited book; the articles have different authors which the editor gathered together.
To find a book, you search the Library catalogue. You can also check the catalogues of other libraries, as outlined in the Library Catalogue tutorial. Finding books is relatively easy.
Articles are constantly published in journals. They're shorter than books, more specific in their subject matter, and represent the latest information (new knowledge) when they're published. Journals are the academic version of magazines.
Your research assignments often require you to find articles published in scholarly journals. This is because subject experts need to know how to locate the latest information on their topic, and that is commonly communicated through scholarly journals. You are becoming a subject expert.
Searching for journal articles takes time, effort, and creativity because of the quantity and variety of journals available. You can't just search one place to find articles.
If you understand how journal literature is organized, you will be more comfortable with finding and using it. This tutorial explains the process.
Use the gold tabs at the top of this box to navigate through the tutorial.
Scholarly publishing in journals usually follows these steps:
Millions of articles are published every year, in thousands of scholarly journals. The articles explore the latest in research and information.
Contrary to student expectations, there is NO:
That's why searching takes time, effort, and creativity.
The Trent University Library maintains over 30,000 current journal subscriptions, most of which are accessible only online. They're owned and hosted by various publishers, who sell us access. The Library does its best to organize this material so you can find it, but there are multiple routes you can take to get to the same information. And often what works well for one topic may not be good for another. You need to be flexible and creative to find articles.
As a rule, you start by searching an index. The next section of the tutorial covers indexes. But first, let's clarify that the Library Catalogue is not the place to look for articles.
Individual journal articles are not listed in the Library Catalogue. Don't start by looking for articles in the catalogue.
For all of our library's subscriptions, the Library Catalogue provides the titles, call numbers, subscription history, and general subject areas.
So how do you search for articles?