How to use resources: Finding journal articles

What is a journal?

A journal is an academic magazine published regularly throughout the year.  Journals contain articles written by academics, researchers, or specialists in their field. Often the topic of the journal covers a more specific area within a discipline, i.e. Journal of Business Administration. 

Benefits of using journal articles:

  • up-to-date
  • based on research
  • specific 

If you already have a reference to a journal article and you want to find it, follow the steps in this guide to find the article in the Brunel Library collection. 

Finding journal articles when you have a reference

You may already have a reference to a journal article and wish to find out if you can access it from Brunel. To provide an example, if we take the research article reference below:

Liu, X., and Read, J. (2020) ‘General skill needs and challenges in university academic reading: Voices from undergraduates and language teachers’, Journal of College Reading and Learning, 50(2), pp. 70-93. Available at:

This example is formatted using the Harvard referencing style. Whichever style you use, it is useful to be able to identify the different parts of a reference to an article as this can help when searching for the article itself. In most instances, the article title, the longer and specific name of the work, and the author names will be the easiest things to search with. However, you should also take note of the title of the journal, and the issue and volume number as sometimes they can help you track down a difficult to find article.  

Most, but not all, of our journals, and the articles they contain, are discoverable from the Library Search.

You can find Library search on the Brunel Library homepage- simply search for the title of the journal article eg "General skill needs and challenges in university academic reading" in the search box.

This should show you any titles that match your keywords in our collection. If the article (or other work) is part of Library collections, you will be able to access the online article via the 'Full Text Online' link. 

If the article you want is not there, we may still have it in other collections.  To do a thorough search, it's also worth searching:

You can find further information on searching these resources below. 

Using the e-journals A-Z

The E-journals A-Z is a comprehensive list of all the online journals we subscribe to at Brunel. You will find information here about our subscriptions, including the years of coverage you can access. You will also be able to link to the journal so you can browse their archive of issues. If you can't find the reference you need from the Library Search, then use the journal title, volume and issue information to search the:

As this is simply a list of journals, instead of searching for the article title, search for the journal name eg "Journal of College Reading and Learning".

Check to make sure we have the year you need, in the example above this would be 2020, then follow the link to the journal to open the volume and issue your article is in.

Using the E-journals A-Z can also be useful for browsing particular journals that have been recommended to you to keep up-to-date, most of which have the option to search within.

Finding print journal articles

If you have searched the Library and the E-journals A-Z, and still can't find the article you need, it's worth checking to see if we have the journal you need in our print collection.  This can be useful for:

  • journals only published in print format
  • magazines
  • older volumes/issues of a journal

Our print journals are for reference only and are arranged in shelfmark order on Floor 3.  Search the library catalogue for the name of journal you need. Limit the search to 'Print journals' and then type in the name of the journal  eg Nature which can be found at shelfmark Q1.N2

To check which years we have, click on 'Catalogue Record' and you can see the different volumes in the collection. 

FAQ: How do I find my own journal articles?

If you don't have a specific article in mind to find journal articles to support your research, there are a number of ways to search:

FAQ: I need help!

If you need help finding literature for your research, or are having difficulties opening documents, help is available.