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Finding Articles in Magazine and Journals

There are many ways to find articles in periodicals. (Librarians use the term "periodicals" to refer to magazines, journals, annuals, and newspapers that are published on a regular schedule.) The primary method is to use a periodical index. Periodical indexes index by subject (also often by author) articles published in a given list of periodicals. Some periodical indexes also provide a brief paragraph that describes the article. These paragraphs are called abstracts. Anumber of our newer electronic indexes now offer you the full text and even the graphics of the articles themselves.

In the secton in basic reference sources you saw that an encyclopedia can be either general or subject specific. The same is true of periodical indexes. One example of a general periodical index is the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. Another, available in electronic form on the online catalog system, is the MasterFILE Premier Index. Some examples of subject specific indexes include ERIC (Education), CINAHL (Nursing), or SocioFile (Sociology and Social Work). Generally, you should try to use a subject specific index when possible as it will provide much deeper coverage.

In addition to printed periodical indexes (like the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature) and those on the online catalog platform (like Academic Search FullTEXT Elite Index), several indexes are available on special-purpose CD-ROM computers. If you are interested, you can see a partial list of CD-ROMs available in the library.

Once you have selected the proper index(es) to use for your research and have put together a list of articles, your next step is to find the articles themselves. You may be able to find the full text of many of them on the computer. For those which are not available in full text, you will need to check to see which ones are held by the IUN Library. To do this, you should use IUCAT. Do a title search for the name of the periodical (not the name of the article). For example, to find out if we own the periodical Advertising Age, you would search using:

t=advertising age

If you locate a record designated NW you should then type hol to check our holdings ... to see if we have the issue you need. Please remember, not every periodical indexed will be available in the library. If you start your research early, however, our System Services department can get you almost anything via Interlibrary Loan.