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Getting Started in the Library

A guide for new students at the University of Tasmania

Academic journals

What is a journal?  Journals are a lot like ordinary magazines - they are collections of articles written by different authors, and they are published regularly throughout the year.  (This is why libraries sometimes call them serials or periodicals.)  They can be separated into three major groups - Academic, Professional/Trade, and Popular.

How do I find out if a journal is peer reviewed?

Many of the library databases allow you to limit your search to scholarly or peer reviewed journals.  Look for a check box that says Peer Reviewed or Scholarly (Peer Reviewed).


If you really want to double-check whether a journal is peer reviewed, you can:

  • Google the journal title and check the publishers website, or
  • Search for the journal title in Ulrichsweb. Ulrich's Directory uses an icon that looks like a striped referee's shirt to indicate a peer reviewed (or refereed) journal.

Here is a screenshot from Ulrich's Directory, showing that Astronomy & Geophysics is a peer reviewed journal, while Popular Astronomy and Modern Astronomy are not (they are Popular magazines for amateur astronomers).

Screenshot from Ulrichs


How do I find journal articles?

  • One way to find journal articles quickly is to use MegaSearch.  Use the Refine Results options on the left of the results screen to focus your search results.

  • Or, for a more directly focused search, try using a subject specific database.  You can find out more about these in the Library Databases section of this guide.