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Using Journals: Journal Articles

Identifying Journal Articles in your Reading List, Handbook or other Publications

When you are assigned readings, you may be assigned a mixture of books and articles. You can identify an article by looking out for the following elements. 

  • Author(s)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of the article
  • Name of the journal
  • Volume number of the journal (most journals are numbered each year starting at 1 in the first year they were published.  Each number is called a volume number).
  • Issue number for that volume of the journal.  Most journals are published or 'issued' several times each year.  Each issue is given a number starting with 1 for the first issue of the year.  
  • Page numbers.  One issue of a journal usually contains several articles.  So the start and end page of the article are usually noted to help you find them.

An article on your reading list will look like: 


Boote, D.N. and Belle, P. (2005) 'Scholars before researchers: on the centrality of the dissertation literature review in research preparation' Education Researcher 34, 6: 3-15. 


You can find it on UCL Explore by searching by article title or author.


However, many reading lists will include links directly to the full text of an article. 


Reading list with links to the full text of the articles

Searching for Journal Articles

Once you know that you are looking for a journal article, the next step is to access it. The majority of UCL journals are available electronically, but there are still some that are only available in print. If that is the case, you need to come into to the library.

If you know you want an electronic article, you can start in Explore and use the filters to narrow your search to 'Online Resources' and 'Articles.'

Filters on UCL Explore

To go even deeper in searches, use a relevant database or Google Scholar.