What is a Journal?

The Charger Bulletin

Has your professor asked you to use journal articles in your assignments and research papers? Are you wondering “just what is a journal?”

A journal is essentially a collection of research-based articles written by experts in a specific field geared to a specific audience. Journal articles contain footnotes or documentation throughout, with a bibliography or reference list at the end, and are typically anywhere from five to 20 pages or more in length.

You might be wondering how journal articles differ from an article you might find in magazine like Time or Newsweek. Journals are written for a specific or scholarly audience, using technical language or jargon throughout. Magazines are written to a broad, general audience. Journals are usually black & white, in a non-glossy format, with little or no advertising. Magazines are typically full-color, with a glossy format and chock full of ads.

Journals are often peer-reviewed or “refereed.” Peer-reviewed journal articles undergo a screening process before they are published. This process requires the author to submit the article to a group of subject experts for their evaluation. The reviewers then evaluate the article and recommend that the article be accepted, rejected, or revised by the author.

To search for journal articles in the UNH databases, go to http://www.newhaven.edu/library and click on the Databases link on the left side of the page. Log in with your UNH username and password, and then browse through the Alphabetical Listing of Databases, or click on the Subject List of Databases link to view databases broken down by subject area. When searching the databases, look to see if there is a checkbox to limit your results to peer-reviewed publications, if your professor requires peer-reviewed journals for your paper or topic.

If you have a journal citation, go to http://www.newhaven.edu/library and click on the Journals link on the left side of the page. Then search for the journal title in the search box. If the journal is found in your search, you will then see where the journal is located (either the lower level of the library in print or microform, or electronically in a specific database – like Academic OneFile, JSTOR, PsycARTICLES, etc). If the journal is available electronically, click on the corresponding link on the search screen to continue on with your search and then log in with your UNH username and password when prompted.

The UNH Library has access to over 20,000 different journals across more than 100 databases, with another 100 in print on the Library’s lower level.

Please let us know if you need any help finding journal articles for your research. You can stop by the Information Desk here at the library, call us at (203) 932-7189, or email us at [email protected] We are here to help!