Journals and journal articles

Journals and journal articles can be an excellent source for current, scholarly information. They are published on an ongoing basis so you can find the latest information available.

UNSW Library subscribes to scholarly, or academic journals, which contain articles relevant to university studies. The Library also subscribes to relevant trade or professional journals, popular magazines and newspapers.

Peer-reviewed journals are a type of scholarly journal. Articles published in these journals have been assessed by the author’s peers, an editorial board of subject specialists in a particular discipline. They review and accept or reject articles that have been submitted for publication based on the validity and scholarship of the article.

Peer-reviewed articles:

  • present more highly regarded and authoritative information
  • include bibliographies that provide further reading of a similar quality and standard
  • focus on original academic research
  • are also called refereed articles

Identifying peer-reviewed journals and journal articles

  • Journals usually indicate that they are peer-reviewed in the information at the front or back of each journal issue or on the journal website.
  • Some databases allow you to limit a search to peer-reviewed articles only.
  • Library collection allows you to refine your search results to Peer-reviewed Journals under Refine my results > Availability on the left-hand side. Each record for a peer-reviewed journal article includes a peer-reviewed icon.
  • Ulrichsweb global serials directory identifies whether or not a journal is peer-reviewed. Access it via the Database search or Databases link in the search box or Library collection.

Find a known journal

Use Journal search to view a list of journals in alphabetical order. You can also search by title or by ISSN. Access Journal search via the Journals link in the search box.

To search for journals in Library collection, narrow down your results using Refine my results > Resource Type and then APPLY FILTERS to only include results from journals.

Find a known journal article

To find a specific journal article, search Library collection for the title of the article.

If the article does not appear in your search results, try searching for the journal title or ISSN.

Narrow down your results using Refine my results > Resource Type and then APPLY FILTERS to only include results from journals.

Some print journals are held in Library Storage and can be requested via the journal record in the Library collection.

Find current information on a topic

The full text of many journal articles can be accessed online via the Library’s databases or Google Scholar.

Find a relevant database for your topic via Database search (also accessible via the Library home page Databases link) and search by keyword, or select from the list of Databases by category. UNSW Library Subject Guides suggest key databases and other resources in your subject area.

Your database search will display a list of records. You can connect to the full text by clicking on PDF or full text links if available.

If a full text or PDF link is not available:

  • select the Find It button to connect to full text via other databases
  • install the LibKey Nomad browser extension
  • try searching for the article in the Library collection, making sure to tick the Expand results beyond UNSW Library button under Refine my results. If this is unsuccessful, try searching for the journal title

To learn about plugins which can help your research see search tools and plugins.


For more information on journal articles see Discover > Journal articles in ELISE | Informing your studies tutorial.

For more information on peer-reviewed journal articles see Discover > Peer-reviewed literature in ELISE | Informing your studies tutorial.

For more information on searching databases see Discover > Databases in ELISE | Informing your studies tutorial.

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