Study at the university level requires you to locate, analyse, and critically use the scholarly literature in your discipline. Journal articles are an essential part of that literature. They will complement what you can find in books and will typically be more specific and more current. Use this section in this guide to learn about journals and journal articles. Consult the Library databases link on the left for information on using the library's specialised databases to help you find and access this material.
Your lecturer or supervisor may stipulate that your research must include 'peer-reviewed' (also known as 'refereed') articles. These are scholarly articles that have undergone a stringent process of evaluation/review/scrutiny by researchers or subject specialists in the academic community before being accepted for publication to ensure their academic standing. It is a process aimed at a form of academic 'quality control'.
Many databases permit you to limit your search to only 'peer-reviewed' material.
If you need to confirm if a journal is peer-reviewed, look your journal title up in the Ulrichsweb global serials directory and check for this icon of a referee’s jersey beside the title which indicates that it is peer-reviewed.
If you are prompted to pay to access an article, you may have found your way to a commercial publisher’s site. It is wise to check if the library provides free access to that article via one of our journal or database subscriptions. To do this, you can use the instructions provided in the box called "What if the database doesn't have full text for my article?" via the Library databases link on the left.