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Design and Innovation: Journals


This guide describes what journals are and where to find them in print or online.


When you are searching library resources you will encounter different types of journals, there are three main categories.


Scholarly / Academic Journals (peer-reviewed / refereed)

The main purpose of scholarly journals is to report on original research, theories & critiques in order to make information widely available to the scholarly community. Articles are written by & for scholars, researchers & professionals.

Peer-reviewed journals can be identified by their editorial statements or instructions to authors (usually in first few pages of the journal or at the end) or on the home page of the journal.

Not every article in an Academic Journal will be scholarly.  Academic journals contain book reviews and  editorials; these do not go through the peer review process that the articles do.


Popular Journals / Magazines

The main purpose is to provide information for an educated, but non-specialist audience, of interested readers. No background knowledge or expertise is assumed. Articles usually provide a broad coverage of topics of current interest. Articles are written by journalists, freelance writers or staff of the magazine who may not have any expert knowledge in that subject are . Articles are not peer-reviewed, they are often glossy with lots of pictures. Advertising is prominently featured.


Trade Journals

A trade magazine or trade journal is a publication that targets a particular industry, trade, or business. The purpose is to inform those within a particular industry or profession of the latest news, trends, techniques or product information within an industry. Articles are generally written by someone working in the trade or profession and are not intended for a scholarly audience. Published for a specific group of professionals in a particular profession or industry.

Finding Journals


Most of the journals you will be interested in are available online. As long as you go via all journals will be available to you both on and off campus. Please note that you will not get full text access if you go via another route eg straight to the journal website or Google.

Finding a journal title is different to finding a journal article.

Each journal title has a number of individual journal articles in each issue.

To find a journal title online browse our e-Journals portal.

Finding Journal Titles


To find a journal title online browse our e-Journals portal.

Where a journal is available in print format, you will see the location details of the journal.

Print journals are arranged on the shelves in Dewey order. The most recent issue of a journal is displayed on the front of the current journals shelf. Back issues (generally those over 1 year old) are mostly bound and shelved in Dewey order. 001-499 and 700-999 are shelved on the ground floor & 500-699 are shelved on the first floor.

Print journals cannot be borrowed but articles can be photocopied, subject to copyright restrictions.

Finding Journal Articles

  • Your reading list might contain a journal article like this one:

  • To search for an article, enter the article title and the author’s surname into the Search + Find search box – ”Rethinking Trust” and Kramer
  • Limit your search to journal and magazine articles by clicking “Journal Article” and "Magazine Article" from the "Refine your Search" panel on the left.
  • If the article is available click on the title to view the full article online.

Journals image

The Library provides access to thousands of journals, of which around 300 are available in print only.  The remainder are available online through the library website.

Why Use Journals?

  • To get a wide range of references for your research assignments
  • To keep-up-to-date with the latest developments in your subject
  • To stay at the top on your subject
  • To read articles written or recommended by your tutors

Terms & Definitions

You need to be aware of the following terms and definitions with regard to journal content:

Article - The main type of journal content

E-Journal - Published online or available through a database

Full Text - The entire text of the article is available to you online

Citation – Access to the author, title, publication details information

Abstract - A summary of the article

Bibliographic database - Where information about print and electronic journals are generally found

Peer-Reviewed - When an article is Peer-Reviewed, the editors of the journal send it to scholars in the relevant field; e.g., an article about Engineering would go to other engineers.  These scholars provide feedback about the quality of research and presentation of findings, and more.  This ensures that the articles that are published in academic journals have scholastic merit and contribute to the overall research in that field.

Refereed - A Refereed Article is also referred to other scholars in the field.  However, here, the reviews are blind.  The academics conducting the review do not know the name of the author.  In addition, it is often the case that the reviewers' names are not made known to the author.  This ensures that the work is judged solely on its own merit rather than the author's reputation. The manuscript must be reviewed by at least two other people.

What if the library doesn't not have the journal article you need?

Try searching Google Scholar by using the significant words or a phrase from the title of the article combined with the last name of the author.

You may also try searching for the title of the journal using quotations. This will often lead to the publisher's Web site. Browse the site to see if the article you need is freely available. Some publishers allow access to older articles without subscription.

If the Library doesn't provide access to the journal, you can request a copy through the Document Supply Service.

You can go to another library that has a printed version of your article and photocopy it yourself, local libraries include NUIG or the County libraries.

Google Scholar Search

Search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites.