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Understanding ejournals


You will be familiar with magazines like these which you can find in a supermarket or newsagent

Journals are similar to magazines. They cover a particular topic or area of interest and are usually published on a regular basis. Unlike magazines, journals contain a number of articles which present or discuss academic research.

Journal articles tend to provide an in-depth look at research in a specific area. Very rarely will they give an overview of a topic. If you are looking for an introductory information you will be best looking in an ebook.

Ejournals are published online.

The articles in journals are written by experts, many undergo a rigorous quality check called peer review.

This means journal articles are:

  • very reliable
  • conform to high academic standards
  • good to use in assignments.

In your studies you may be asked to find and read journal articles or be told that a journal is core to your studies

Where to find ejournals

Journals like Children's Geographies and the British journal of nursing can be found using Library Search.

You can search Library Search for a specific journal or find journals covering particular topics.

Key journal titles are also listed in the selected resources for your study pages. These pages are particularly helpful if your module requires you to do independent research.

Advantages of ejournal databases

The ejournals the OU library provides are made available through different databases.

Using an ejournal database allows you to:

  • Search across thousands of articles from many journals at the same time
  • Search for articles on a specific subject or topic
  • Read the full text for free

The OU Library subscribes to over 100 journal databases.

It’s worth noting that one journal can appear in multiple different databases. Some databases will provide you with the most recent issue of a journal, others may give access to older issues.

Try it for yourself

If you already know a journal in your subject area, why not try accessing it through Library Search? Alternatively go to selected resources for your study and choose a subject that interests you. Use the ejournals filter to see a list of journals on that topic. Choose one and have a quick look at the back issues.

You can find out about articles from the understanding articles page.

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