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Periodicals Department FAQ

What Is A Periodical?

A periodical is a publication that is issued at least twice a year, and contains articles and other writings by various contributors. Among the types of periodicals are: popular MAGAZINES, and professional, academic, and trade JOURNALS. Academic journals may be referred to as "peer-reviewed" or not; the research described in "peer reviewed" articles is endorsed by other academics before being published.

Where Are Periodicals?

Current issues (generally the last year or two) are on the Library shelves on the third floor. Older issues may be kept in bound, microfilm, or microfiche format and are stored in the Library Retrieval System or off-campus. InvestiGator, the Library online catalog, tells you if the library carries the title you are looking for, and the format of the older issues. The Library also provides an Electronic Journals List that includes some periodical titles that are not in the online catalog.

Locating A Periodical

In order to find articles about a specific topic, you will usually search Library databases or abstracting and indexing services by topic. Please consult with a librarian at the Research Assistance Desk for advice on which services will be most useful. You may also send a question to E-mail Reference.

To locate a specific article, you should know:

  • periodical title
  • volume number and issue number in that volume
  • author and title of article
  • date the article was published
  • page number(s) of the article

Remember to use the Library Catalog and the Electronic Journals List to ascertain whether or not the periodical you want is in the Library's physical or electronic collections. If the library does not subscribe to the periodical you need, you may request a copy of the article that you need through Interlibrary Services.

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