What Is a Periodical?
A periodical is a magazine, journal, or other publication having issues that appear at regular intervals (often monthly or quarterly). In other words, periodicals include everything from Maclean's to the Journal of Chromatographic Science.
Why Look for Periodicals?
- articles in periodicals often provide the latest news or thought on a particular topic
- they supplement the information found in books
- in some cases they may be the only source of information available on a selected topic
- almost any subject can be explored in periodical articles, therefore they can often provide depth of information on a narrow or specialised topic
To Find Periodical Articles on Your Topic.
Use an appropriate Journal Index. You can use Journal Indexes to find citations to journal and newspaper articles. Many indexes also cite other current publications such as conference proceedings, books, book chapters, reviews, and technical paper literature.
Selecting Journal Indexes.
- Before choosing an index or abstracting service, consider the sort of information you wish to find. Different indexes will cover different types of material.
- Coverage may vary according to the type of material indexed (books, articles, etc.), geographic origin of materials, or language and subject orientation of material indexed.
- The TUG Libraries Journal Indexes page on WWW, provides Web access to many different indexes for UW Libraries. (http://journal-indexes.uwaterloo.ca/).
- A brief description (under "More information") is provided for each index. This helps to clarify the 'scope' of the different indexes (amount and type of information covered).
- There are more indexes and abstracts that can only be used in the Library. Some are in print, some in CD-ROM format.
- When in doubt ask at the Information Desk in the Library. The staff person on duty will help you to select an appropriate index for your topic.
- Search commands may vary from index to index. Most include easily readable Help screens or online tutorials. Staff at the Information Desk can assist you if you have difficulty using a particular index, or interpreting the information displayed in search results from a particular database.
How Much Information Do You Get?
Some indexes provide full text for selected journal articles.
All indexes provide, at least, citation information. A citation will tell you:
- title of an article or book chapter
- author of the article or book chapter
- volume and issue number and/or date of issue (for periodical articles)
- publisher information and year published (for books)
- page numbers
- abstract (article summary) — many indexes provide an abstract for the item cited
How to Find Journal Articles Cited in an Index.
Most journal indexes are commercially produced and provide citations from more sources than can be housed at any one library. It is necessary therefore, to search the full journal title (not the title of the article!) in TRELLIS to see if one of the TUG libraries owns it. For the example given below you would search for Outdoor Canada, not "Assess this!! Ottawa refuses to review yet another massive clear-cut."
If you find the journal title in TRELLIS:
- Check the Location(s) listed in TRELLIS, as in the sample record below
Read the Library has: statement, for each Location: to see if the issue you need is held by one of the TUG libraries in Print or Electronic format.
- For issues in Electronic format, use quick-link under "Access electronic resource" to access full-text articles.
- For issues held in Print, if the Location: is somewhere on UW campus, and the issue you need is "In Library", go yourself to retrieve the journal article you need.
- If the journal is at the University of Guelph, WLU, Annex, or some other remote location, use the button in TRELLIS to request journal articles from journals in the TriUniversity Group of Libraries collections.
- To make a request, first display the record of the item that contains the article.
- Ensure that the journal volume and/or issue containing the article you are after is included in the "Library has" section of the record.
- Next, click on the "request item from TRELLIS" button at the top of the screen. In the text boxes provided, enter the barcode number from your university ID card and your last name. Click "OK."
|Software Bug: When attempting to place a request on an item in favourites, use the Request item hyperlink at the bottom of the page. The request item button in the toolbar does not currently work for items called up from the Bookbag.
- Now click on .
- Follow the Instructions on the screen that appears. Only the "Comments" field is optional. All other fields must be filled in.
- Once you have completed the form, click "Submit Request."
- If you wish to cancel an article request, you may do so by logging in to RACER , the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery service, and viewing your requests.
- After you are finished making requests for items be sure to click especially if you are using a public machine.
- One form is required for each item. Usually, Circulation staff can send items requested through TUGdoc to the pick up location specified within 3 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays). There may, however, be delays if the journal is on loan or if the volume is out for binding or is otherwise unavailable.
If you do NOT find the journal you want in TRELLIS at all, use Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery services for UW to request that Library staff obtain the article for you. They will use the contact information provided in each request which you submit, to notify you when articles are received and are being held for you at a University of Waterloo Library. You can contact UW Interlibrary Loan staff, and submit requests for articles from this web page: http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/ILL_DD/racer.html.
* Use of TUGdoc is restricted to faculty, students, and staff of the University of Guelph (UG), University of Waterloo (UW), and Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). The TUGdoc form can be used to request journal articles available within TUG, but not at the home site
How to Interpret the Information Provided by an Index or Abstract?
- Most journal indexes are commercially produced and provide citations from more sources than can be housed at any one library. It is necessary therefore, to search the full journal title (not the title of the article!) in TRELLIS to see if one of the TUG libraries owns the cited article.
- Some indexes provide full text for selected journal articles.
- All indexes provide, at least, citation information.
- The format used to display this information may vary a good deal from one index/database to the next.
- Default display of records for some online indexes may be in "brief" or incomplete format. Try to learn about display options for individual databases. This will allow you to change display settings, if necessary, to view all the information provided for each publication cited in the database.
- You can get more information about how to display search results for a particular database by reading the online help pages. Online help pages may also provide 'database description'. Typically, description of the database will clarify the types of material cited, and how much information is included in full record display for individual records in the database.
- Staff at the Information Desk in the Library can assist you if you have difficulty using a particular index, or interpreting the information displayed in search results for a particular database.
How to Read a Record in an Index.
An Example Index Record: The subject heading is listed in bold. The title of the article follows, then the name of the author. Next the title of the periodical/journal in which it appears. The volume and issue are listed next followed by the date and the pages.
How to Read a Record in an Abstract.
See 2 examples given below:
Example 1 is from an electronic index, which provides a citation and abstract for most of the current articles cited. This index also provides full text for selected articles. Default display for this database may not include the TXI field. The view given for example 1, is a complete record display for this database. Complete record view includes the TXI field, which contains a transcript of full text [3736 bytes total] for this brief article.
An Example Record showing the Volume Number, Issue Number, Publication Date, and Page number at the end of the Full name of journal line
Example 2 is from an electronic index. Note the different format used in this database to display the citation and abstract for the article. This database does not provide the full text for any of the cited publications. Therefore you would have to do a search for full name of this journal in TRELLIS, to find out if the TUG libraries have either a print subscription or an electronic subscription for this journal.
Many indexes also include unique standard numbers [ISSN or ISBN] for cited publications in full record display. Keyword search options in TRELLIS allow you to use ISSN or ISBN to search for a specific publication.
An example result from Compendex includes a unique ISSN number which identifies the cited article
How to Read a Journal Title Record in TRELLIS.
Sample Journal record from TRELLIS
- Brief Record: the default display that shows item information including: title, publisher, description (includes the year the journal was first published), linked resource/electronic access, location, status, call number, available volumes, and recent issues that have been received.
- Full Record: shows additional item information. May include: type of material, ISSN/ISBN, journal indexes that index the journal, and notes.
- Staff View (MARC): displays the item information in its machine-readable format. This view is of use primarily to library staff.
This area provides bibliographic details about the journal including the year the journal was first published.
This section includes the journal's physical description, hyperlinked Library of Congress Subject Headings, and other notes about the publication.
Clicking on authors' names or subject headings will collect all the other records in TRELLIS with those names or headings.
Access electronic resource: click this link to access full-text articles. Access may be restricted to one or another TUG library, in which case that library will be indicated in brackets (UG,WLU or UW), otherwise (All) will be indicated.
Library has: indicates which years are electronically accessible. A hyphen at the end of the summary indicates "all issues up to the present time." E.g., v.12(1995) -
See the sections below for information about issues held in print format.
This section shows you at which TUG library location the journal can be found, whether any volumes are on loan, and the journal's call number.
This section tells you what issues of the journal the library owns and lists the recent issues that it has received.
Erin Murphy/Jackie Stapleton
Revised February 2002
For assistance enquire at one of the Information Desks or consult the Ask a Librarian Web page at: http://www.lib.uwaterloo.ca/asklib/
For a list of subject specialist Liaison Librarians check
Library Guide, No. 1.4 Finding Periodical Articles
Copyright © University of Waterloo
February 27, 2007