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POLI: Political Science

Guide to resources, sources, and research (discovery) tools for those studying Political Science at the University of Calgary.

Journals: An Introduction

Terminology

A variety of words are often used to describe publications that contain articles

Journal

A Journal is a type of publication that is issued overa period of time and is "...devoted to disseminating original research and commentary on current developments within a specific discipline, subdiscipline, or field of study...".  (Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Characteristics of a Journal:

  • includes articles that are longer than those in magazines
  • articles usually include a bibliography or list of works cited
  • published quarterly, bimonthly or monthly
  • sold by subscription. 
  • rarely found on magazine stands except in some rare instances
  • has its own distinctive title
  • issed in softcover
  • if found in a library normally does not circulate

(Adapted from Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Magazine

A Magazine is a type of publication that is issued over a period of time and contains articles on a "...variety of topics, written by various authors in a nonscholarly style". (Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Characteristics of a Magazine:

  • lots of illustrations
  • include advertising
  • usually printed on shiny paper
  • articles are usually short
  • articles are often not signed
  • articles do not include a bibliography of list of references
  • published monthly or weekly
  • sold in newsstands, bookstores and by subscription
  • if found in a library normally does not circulate

(Adapted from Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Periodical

A Periodical is a publication that comes out over a period of time.  They are published by:

  • commercial or trade publishers
  • government agencies
  • nonprofit organizations
  • professional organizations
  • scholarly societies
  • trade associations
  • university presses

Periodicals include:  

  • Journals
  • Magazines
  • Newsletters

The most complete list of periodicals is found in Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory which may be found online as Ulrichsweb.


 

 

Find Articles: Browsing Journals

Browsing for articles is one method of locating them.  It is not a very effective way of locating articles.

In order to do this, you need to have the title of the journal or magazine or newspaper that contains the article.  Remember, articles are always in a publication of some sort.

Since you need to know the journal, magazine or newspaper that contains the article, you will need to know how to find these publications. 

Background Information on Journals, Magazines, etc.

Terminology

A variety of words are often used to describe publications that contain articles.

Periodical

A publication that comes out over a period of time.  They are published by:

  • commercial or trade publishers
  • government agencies
  • nonprofit organizations
  • professional organizations
  • scholarly societies
  • trade associations
  • university presses

Periodicals include:  

  • Journals
  • Magazines
  • Newsletters
  • Newspapers

Journal

A type of publication that is issued over a period of time and is "...devoted to disseminating original research and commentary on current developments within a specific discipline, subdiscipline, or field of study...".  (Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Characteristics of a Journal:

  • includes articles that are longer than those in magazines
  • articles usually include a bibliography or list of works cited
  • published quarterly, bimonthly or monthly
  • sold by subscription. 
  • rarely found on magazine stands except in some rare instances
  • has its own distinctive title
  • issed in softcover
  • if found in a library normally does not circulate

(Adapted from Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Magazine

A type of publication that is issued over a period of time and contains articles on a "...variety of topics, written by various authors in a nonscholarly style". (Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

Characteristics of a Magazine:

  • lots of illustrations
  • includes advertising
  • usually printed on shiny paper
  • articles are usually short
  • articles are often not signed
  • articles do not include a bibliography of list of references
  • published monthly or weekly
  • sold in newsstands, bookstores and by subscription
  • if found in a library normally does not circulate

(Adapted from Reitz, Joan M. Dictionary for Library and Information Science. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 2004.)

How To Find a Specific Journal, Magazine or Newspaper

Method 1:  Using the Library Search Box

Method 2:  Browsing the A-Z List of Journals.

Method 3:  Using the Classic Catalogue

See the "how to's" below for instructions on each of these methods.

 

Find Articles: Searching

Searching for articles is much more effective than browsing for articles.  Searching allows for the finding of articles in a variety of journals and disciplines.

There are several resources and discovery tools available for locating articles.  These include:

  • Abstracting and indexing services
  • Abstracting journals
  • Bibliographies on a subject or discipline
  • Library Search Box
  • Summon
  • Periodical indexes
  • The Web (Internet)

What's missing from this list?   The Classic Catalogue (Library Catalogue)!!  NB.  Do not use the Classic Catalogue (Library Catalogue) to find articles.

Many of these resources, although not all, are now available online.  Some are available because the Library pays for subscriptions to the resources.  Others are freely available via  the Internet.

To find the online resources available at the University of Calgary Library,  go to the Library's homepage, click on the  Search Collections tab, then Databases.

These resources may be browsed by title, ie., the title of the resource, eg.  International Political Science Abstracts or may be browsed by broad subject area/discipline (eg.  Political Science) or type of information (eg. Video).