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first hand reports of original research, making them primary source material
the first place where new research is published, so they are at the cutting edge of your subject
peer-reviewed, meaning that the articles have been critically evaluated by experts in the field before publication.
Key Databases for Journal Articles
The following links are links to full-text databases that are likely to contain journal articles especially useful for history students. Some may be more useful to you than others depending on your topic, so searching in a number of different places will increase your chances of finding good information.
Hover over the 'i' icon to read more information about each database.
ProquestThe Proquest platform hosts the following databases: ABI/INFORM Complete, ABI/INFORM Global, ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry, Accounting & Tax, Banking Information Source, British Periodicals, ebrary, Periodicals Archive Online, ProQuest Asian Business & Reference, ProQuest Entrepreneurship, PsycARTICLES.
JSTOR Arts & Sciences I CollectionJSTOR is a not-for-profit organization with a dual mission to create and maintain a trusted archive of important scholarly journals, and to provide access to these journals as widely as possible. Content in JSTOR spans many disciplines, primarily in the humanities and social sciences.
SocINDEX with Full Text (EBSCO)SocINDEX indexes over 2,000 journal titles, with nearly 350 key titles provided in full text. Covering all aspects of sociology and closely related subject areas, it covers e.g. abortion, criminology & criminal justice, demography, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, political sociology, religion, rural & urban sociology, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, sociological history, sociological research, sociological theory, substance abuse & other addictions, violence and many others.
ERICERIC is a freely available resource that provides unlimited access to more than 1.4 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials, with hundreds of new records added multiple times per week. If possible, links to full text in Adobe PDF format are included
You can use the following bibliographic databases to carry out a comprehensive search for journal articles in your subject area. Follow the button within each journal article record to find out whether the full text is available to you as a member of Aston University.
ScopusScopus is a comprehensive, bibliographic database covering scientific, medical, technical and social science subjects.
Web of ScienceWeb of Science provides seamless access to the Science Citation Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, and Medline.
The library subscribes to a number of journals on the database JSTOR, which you can access through the link above. However, JSTOR also offer an additional service that may be useful to you, called 'Register and Read'. Create a personal account here, then access a large number of journal articles that are not available through the library's subscriptions.
Do an advanced search and untick 'Include only content I can access'. You can now search through all articles available on JSTOR, including ones that the library does not have a subscription to.
Search your topic, and select an article that you would like to read from your search results. If the library has not paid for access to this article, there may be an option to click 'Read Online Free' above the article preview. Click on this.
You can then add the article to your “reading shelf” to read the full text. You can save up to 3 articles on your shelf at a given time. After 14 days, you can remove articles and replace them with new ones.
Unable to find the full text of a journal article? Why not try...
If the item you would like to read is not available via Aston University Library, you can request the item from another Library. This is called Inter-library Loan. This service is available to all University students and staff.
The reference for a journal article usually looks something like this:
Clough, H., & Closier, A. (2018). Walking the talk: Using digital media to develop distance learners’ digital citizenship at the Open University (UK). Reference Librarian, Vol 59 (3), pp 129-133.
There are two main ways to find the full text of a journal article from a reference:
Type the article title into the Library SmartSearch (or your database of choice), and use to access full text
Search for the journal title in the A-Z list of journals (link below)
When you find an article you would like to use in your piece of the work, the reference details can be found in the following way:
How to improve your keyword searches for journal articles
Keyword searching is generally what you use when you are first beginning a search. Try to break down your topic or research question into the overall main ideas; these main ideas become simple keywords which you may use to search a Library database. It's useful to keep a keyword list when you are researching a topic. This will help you remember the words you have already tried searching, the combinations you have used, and any new words you noticed in search results that you want to try in your searches later.
Watch this short video to help you improve your search skills: