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Finding Journal Articles

Interpreting citations, finding peer-reviewed journal articles and locating relevant guides to assist in locating journal articles.


About this Guide

This guide is intended to provide the basic information required for locating and identifying journal articles. It also directs users to other resources provided by the university to assist with research.

The Library Homepage includes many resources to assist in getting the best results for your study. From here you will find all the resources you need to conduct research including:

Don't hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can assist you with.

Terminology Explained

Different Terminology Allocated to Journal Articles

‚ÄčThe following list provides some basic explanations of the types of resources you are likely to be required to use in your assessments:

  • Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals: journals which are of a high academic standard due to being reviewed by academics in the field (may also be referred to as academic journals)
  • Periodical: a synonym for journal, but basically means they are published on a regular basis such as monthly
  • News: some sources may contain articles which can be used in research but sources may vary in quality. Please see our Finding News guide.
  • Academic Journals: basically the same as peer-reviewed journals
  • Reviews: reviews of scholarly resources are often included in academic journals but they are not in themselves academic
  • Magazines: journal of sorts but not necessarily peer-reviewed so be careful of including them as an academic source.

Construct a Search

Understand the research process

Consult the Beginning Research guide to develop and understanding of the research process and how you can develop effective search strategies.

Develop a search string

For advice on developing and linking a collection of search terms that can be used on multiple databases, consult the following guides:

Health and Physical Education: Search Strategies

Australian Indigenous Education: Search Strategies

Conservation and Cultural Environments: Search Strategies


Tips and Tricks

  • Check spellling: Even enter your terms in Google to see what comes up under the 'did you mean?' For example, the word 'archaeology' may also be spelt 'archeology

  • Check to see if a journal is authoritative: A Google search may yield search results that appear to be academic but to be certain of the quality of the journal, check to see if it is listed Ulrich's Global Serial Directory

  • Check the bibliography: Once you have found an article which you have determined to be relevant, check the bibliography for articles cited which may be also relevant to your research.

  • Alternative access options: If you find an article  in Discovery which the University of Melbourne does not hold, then try searching for the journal at other Australian universities using Trove. Whilst our staff and students are entitled to borrow some items from other institutions, journals are not able to be borrowed. It may be possible to go to the relevant library and copy the item if it is available locally.

  • Interlibrary Loans: University of Melbourne staff members, higher-degree and honours students can request journal articles which are not available at the University of Melbourne via Interlibrary Loans.

  • Find related material: Once you have located something that is highly relevant to your research, check the terms allocated to the article to see if these could assist in refining your search further