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London Metropolitan University

Where to start with Library resources

What are journals and journal articles?

There are two main types of journals:

  • Trade or professional journals
  • Academic or peer-reviewed journals.

They are published at regular intervals (such as daily, weekly, monthly) and may be available both in print and online (eJournals). Some journal titles especially those for art, design and architecture are only available in print format but most of the journals the Library subscribe to are available online.


Academic or Scholarly Journals

Academic journal articles are typically written by academics or scholars who have conducted research in their area of expertise and discuss the findings of that research. They may also discuss current issues in depth, citing other research and theory.

Articles are researched and written by experts so as to provide a means of communicating, debating or critiquing original research and expanding knowledge in all disciplines. Researchers test out new developments, focus on specific issues, problem solving or highlighting future trends.

Academic journals can also be referred to as periodicals or serials. 


Journal Articles 

Articles are published in journals. There are usually several articles written by different authors in each issue of a journal. Journal articles tend to cover more specific topics than books; they are also published more quickly than books and so can be a very good source of current information or research on a topic.


Peer Review

Academic journal articles are usually peer-reviewed, meaning that they have been reviewed and examined by other experts in the field before publication. Peer-review is used to judge whether an article and the research it is based on is of high enough quality to be published in the journal. 



Full text means you can access the whole of the article, rather than just an abstract or summary.  


Why you should use academic, peer-reviewed articles in your assignments

By reading peer-reviewed journal articles and citing them in your assignments you can show your tutors that you have undertaken your own research to find high quality, academic information. It is also good to support the points you wish to make in your essays with evidence from peer-reviewed research. This really will help improve your marks!


How to reference a journal article

Check out our referencing guide for more information.

Recommended web browser extensions

A list of online resources and tools to help you find openly available research. These tools are browser extensions. This means they can be added to your internet browser and provide one-click access to articles.

 Core Discovery
CORE harvests repositories and journal websites to create the world's biggest database of open access research articles. The CORE browser extension provides one-click access to a free, full-text version of a journal article. 
 Endnote Click 
Chrome and Firefox extension.  One click access to millions of research papers. EndNote Click helps you get to your full-text PDFs faster by securely connecting you to your library's journal subscriptions and open access content. 
Google Scholar Button
Chrome, Firefox, and Safari extension. Works with your Google Scholar settings. Look up papers from citations, cite papers, or search via the button. 
Open Access Button
Chrome extension: The next time you can't access the research you need, use the Open Access Button. The Button searches thousands of sources to get you instant, legal access to articles.
This plugin indicates PubPeer comments wherever they appear. A lightweight plugin to install and forget about. You will only notice that the plugin exists when it alerts you that an article has comments on PubPeer. PubPeer can also mark retraction articles.
Chrome & Firefox extension to find available versions of a published article. Unpaywall is run by Impactstory, a nonprofit dedicated to making scholarship more accessible to everyone. Open is our passion. So it's only natural our source code is open, too.

How to find journals

Find journal articles on a topic

Use the main Library search tab to search using your keywords/search terms.  This will give you results from books, journal articles and more.  If you would only like to find journal articles, on the results page click Source type and tick Academic journals and click Apply.

From the list of filters you can also select Full text so you only get results where the whole article is available (remember to sign in to Library Search) and Peer reviewed so you only get results from peer-reviewed journals.  Click All filters to view even more options to narrow down your search.

A list of results will appear.  Under each article you will see a button for Access now or Access options- click that button to get the article.

Searching this way will give you a good overview of what is available.  Remember to try different search terms to make sure you are getting a good range of results.  You should also check subject specific e-journal databases, for example "LexisLibrary" for legal topics, "ScienceDirect" for science and social science topics, "Education Research Complete" for education. Consult your subject area on the A-Z Subject guides, Key Subject Collections Databases for more information.

Browse our e-journals

If you want to find journals by subject try the Publication Finder ( 

Find a specific journal 

If you know the name of a journal you would like to read, from Library Search click the Journal titles tab.  Search for the journal name.

Access an e-journal

Here we have searched for the Journal of business research. 

We can see that this e-journal is available from two different online resources.  It shows me that ScienceDirect has issues for this journal back to 1973, whereas Elsevier has issues back to 1995.  But both of them have issues up to the present day, so if we want to read the latest issue we can use either resource.  Click on the link to access.

Find a print journal on the shelves

Although most our journals are available online, some journal titles especially those for art, design and architecture are only available in print format.

Print journals are shelved separately from the books, in the Journals area. At Holloway Road this is on the first floor of the Library. At Aldgate Library you will find current journals on the ground floor, and older issues on the first floor. They are shelved alphabetically by title, and then by year.

Library recommended journals for my subject

All our subject guides contain a list of recommended journals for your subject.  This is a great place to look if you're not sure where to start with finding relevant journals. You can find your subject guide here: Subject Guides at London Metropolitan University Library and then look for a Key journals tab.