Home | Electronic Resources | Online Library Catalog | Distance Learning Services | Research Help | Forms | Library Services | Hours & Information | Library Collections | Methodist University

Davis Memorial Library Logo

Locating Periodical Articles

Davis Memorial Library Logo

What are periodicals?

Periodicals are continuous publications such as journals, newspapers, or magazines. They are published regularly (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly). To find out which periodicals the Davis Memorial Library owns, consult the Journal Holdings List, available in print in the Library and online at http://www.methodist.edu/library/elect/jrnllist.htm. The Online Catalog also contains holdings information. Neither the Journal Holdings List nor the Online Catalog contains information about the articles in the periodicals. For this information, you need to use a print index or an electronic database.

What is an index?

When you are looking for articles on a particular subject, the best place to look is in an index.

The Davis Memorial Library subscribes to over seventy-five different electronic databases which allow you to search for periodical articles. Here, you can search by author, subject, keyword, or journal title. The reference you find is called a citation. The online or print indexes may either contain only citations (author, title, date information) to the journal articles or the full text of the document.

Starting Your Search for Journal Articles

After deciding on a topic, you can choose a database which is best suited for your needs. If you need help with deciding on a database, searching, or any step in this process, the reference librarian is available to assist you. On the Electronic Resources page (http://www.methodist.edu/library/elect/elect.htm), users will find commonly searched databases listed at the top of the screen. Below, are links to databases by their names. At the bottom of the page, links to databases grouped by subject area are available.

Do you want

If you need more information about the types of periodicals, visit our page about this at: http://www.methodist.edu/library/guides/scholpop.htm.

Conducting Your Search for Journal Articles

The method for finding periodical articles differs greatly depending on what your topic is or what discipline you are researching for. For example, what you do to prepare to write a paper for an English class may be very different from what you do for a psychology class, science class, or business class. For guidance on starting a search for your particular subject, check out the research guides available near the Reference Desk or on the Library website at http://www.methodist.edu/library/guides/guidelst.htm. As always, help is also available at the Reference Desk.

Reading a Citation

No matter what your topic, when looking for journal articles the information you need to find the actual item is contained in a citation. You will want to write down or print several items from the citation–the title of the periodical, the title of the article, the author, the pages of the periodical, the date of the issue, volume, issue number, and anything else you think you may need. Let's look at several citations and find the information in them.

Citation from Academic Search Premier

The following databases provide entries like the one above.

Academic Search Premier Business Source Premier
MasterFile Premier ERIC

Finding Periodical Locations and Requesting Articles

Once you have a citation, look up the title of the periodical itself in the Journal Holdings List (http://www.methodist.edu/library/elect/jrnllist.htm). The Journal Holdings List is arranged alphabetically. If the Library has the item you are looking for, check the location and holdings information carefully.

    Microfiche v. 10, 1985 - v. 14, 1989.
    Unbound v. 15 #2, 1990 - v.16, 1991.
    Bound v.17, 1992 -

Example of a Periodical in the Journal Holdings List

When looking in the Journal Holdings List , make sure that the Library owns the periodical you want for that year. An asterisk (*) next to a title indicates that there is no current subscription for that title.

Now that you have your citation and the location of that periodical, you are set to find your article map.

The most current issues (usually a year) are shelved, unbound, in the Reading Area.

More popular current issues (Time, People Weekly, etc.) are at the Circulation Desk, first floor, North Wing. Please ask for assistance.

Bound Periodicals can be found in the Bound Periodicals Stacks, first floor, North Wing, arranged alphabetically by journal title.

Electronic titles can be accessed from campus computers or remotely with the password (ask at the Circulation Desk to sign-up for the password) at the URL listed in the Journal Holdings List.

Microfilm and microfiche are located in the Microform Room in cabinets (gray for film, orange for fiche). The readers are available in that room also.

Older unbound periodicals must be requested at the Circulation Desk. Fill out a periodical request slip with the name of the periodical, volume, number, and date of the issue that you need.

Finally, if we do not own the item, you may fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form to obtain the article. Request forms for articles are available at the Circulation Desk or online at http://www.methodist.edu/library/forms/illservice.htm. Items ordered through Interlibrary Loan may take at least one to two weeks to arrive. Please allow enough time for delivery. Come prepared with the name of the author, title of the article, title of the journal, volume, issue, date, pages, and the ISSN, if possible, to complete the form.

Revised March 9, 2006