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How to Find Journal Articles

Journal articles are useful for very specific or very recent information, for example, research findings are often first published in journals. Besides being more up-to-date than information published in books, articles usually concentrate on topical issues or detail particular aspects of a subject. Academic/scholarly articles are often reviewed before being accepted for publication and are found in peer-reviewed or refereed journals. This guide shows you some of the ways to locate journal articles.

For further help, ask a librarian. If we don't have the journal article you require, try searching Google Scholar. Also, see Interlibrary Loan.

To find a Journal Article from a Reading/reference list

Waikato Reading Lists

Check your course readings in Waikato Reading Lists. There may be a direct link to the journal article. You will be taken to either the database that holds the article (Click on the PDF Full text link) or a digitised print version of the article (Scroll to the heading Digitisation).

Library Search

  • Use Library Search to access online journal articles.  (See the Library Search guide)
  • If the journal article does not appear in the results list, search by journal title
  •  For journal titles available online either use the Ejournals tab (known titles) or type the journal title in the search box of Library Search
  • Select the database which matches the date required, then drill down by volume, issue and page numbers
  • For print journals type the journal title in the search box of Library Search.  Take note of the Library of Congress call number and search for it on the shelves in the journals area, level 3 of the Student Centre.

Here is an example of a journal citation:

Campbell, A., & Scotellaro, G. (2009). Learning with technology for pre-service early childhood teachers. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 34(2), 11-18.

The journal title is in italics and appears after the article title. Some referencing styles may not use italics.


To Find a Journal Article by Topic

Library Search

See the Library Search guide for tips on searching a topic and refining the search to journal articles only.

Specific databases

  • From the Library website, click on the Databases tab or 'Find a Database' under Key Tasks.
  • Type the database title, e.g. ProQuest in the search box and click Search.
  • Select the relevant database. Choose the Advanced Search option and use limiters such as full text, scholarly, peer reviewed etc. to tailor your search. Search using two or three terms to start with, analyse the results and alter the search strategy accordingly.

See Search Strategies for handy search tips and information on different search operators.