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Periodicals:  Journals, Magazines, and Indexes


The word "journal" refers to periodicals published for and written by a particular professional group of people, such as educators or lawyers or librarians. Journals have:

  • little or no advertising
  • usually published monthly or quarterly (every three months)
  • contain scholarly (or peer-reviewed) articles, with bibliographies, written by experts

Examples: Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, Asbury Theological Journal, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and Shakespeare Quarterly. Not all scholarly publications contain the word "journal" in the title.


A "magazine" is a periodical that contains articles of interest to the public. Magazines usually have:

  • colorful covers
  • many pictures
  • advertising
  • no bibliography (usually)
  • articles written by editorial staff

Examples: Newsweek, Consumer Reports, Modern Bride, and Time. Some periodicals, such as The Wall Street Journal, have the word "journal" in the title but are not journals.


Articles in magazines and journals are listed in periodical indexes. All indexes include a bibliographic citation, which points you to where the information you are looking for can be found, similar to the indexes you use in the back of textbooks. Once you have a citation, you then need to locate the source mentioned in the citation.

The ORU Library has a number of general and special or subject specific online indexes for periodicals. (Print indexes are available in the library but are usually older dates.)

Academic Search Premier and MasterFILE Premier index articles of general interest as well as some scholarly publications.

Examples of specialized indexes are Education Full Text,which lists articles primarily about education, and PsycInfo, which indexes articles on psychology.

Most of the indexes contain abstracts, which are brief article summaries.

In addition, many online indexes ( databases ) include full text and can be searched using multiple fields (author, title, keyword, etc.).

However, just because the magazine or journal article is listed in an index, it does not mean the Library has the article. ORU has a very good selection of periodicals; however, no library will have all the periodicals that are published, including ORU.

After you find an article in an index, you need to locate the full (text) article, which may be available in another database or in print or microform in the ORU Library

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