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4) Find Journal Articles: Home

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to finding journal articles.

What Are Periodicals?

Periodicals are publications that are issued on a periodic basis: weekly, monthly, semiannually, etc. Usually each one is an issue and there is one volume per year, each volume consisting of multiple issues. Magazines, trade journals, and scholarly journals are all different kinds of periodicals. See our evaluating journal articles page to learn how to identify the differences between them.

What Are Scholarly Journals?

Scholarly journals are sometimes called academic, refereed, or peer reviewed journals. They are a type of periodical, but they differ from other periodicals in a number of important ways:

  • Purpose: The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to communicate the results of academic research. They are used by scholars both to keep up-to-date on what other researchers are doing, and to communicate the results of their own scholarship.
  • Author credentials: Scholarly articles are written by academics or professionals who are experts in their field of study.
  • Intended audience: Scholarly articles are written for the author's peers  fellow experts in a particular academic field.
  • Writing style: Because scholarly articles are written for a specialized audience, they often contain technical vocabulary and academic jargon.
  • Peer review: Many (but not all!) scholarly journals are peer reviewed. Before an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it is evaluated by a group of the author's peers—fellow experts in a particular field of study. The peer review process helps to maintain a high standard of research and scholarship. To learn more about peer review, see our peer review page.


When should I use scholarly journals in my research?
Scholarly journals are one of the best sources of up-to-date, authoritative information in any academic field. You should aim to use scholarly sources whenever possible in your research.

How can I find scholarly articles?
You can find articles on specific topics by searching in databases. Databases tell you what has been published on certain subjects; they might have full text articles, or just an abstract (summary) and reference (citation) for you to find the article elsewhere. Using the U of L Library's website, look under the Databases by Subject tab to select a database in your subject area. Note: you will NOT find specific journal articles by title in the Library Catalogue; however, you may using Summon (the single search box on the Library's home page).

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