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Periodicals FAQs

(Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: What is a periodical?

A: A periodical is a publication issued at regular intervals-a magazine, journal, or newspaper.
Q: What is a scholarly journal?

A: Journals are periodicals which present articles on one particular subject, such as nursing, accounting, or literary criticism. A scholarly journal contains articles which are well researched and documented, and are published by universities or scholarly presses.
Q: How can I recognize a scholarly journal?

A: Typically, journals are smaller in size than magazines and do not feature slick paper or pictures. They often do include graphs and charts, and most articles provide a bibliography of sources at the end. The most scholarly journals are "peer reviewed," meaning articles are read by authorities in the field before acceptance for publication. Types of articles include research studies, and literature reviews (surveys of already published research). When in doubt, check the journal with your instructor. For more information
Q: Can I check out periodicals?

A: Periodicals do not check out except on a limited basis to faculty. The Library provides a photocopy machine and microform reader/ printers to make copies of articles if needed.
Q: How do I find articles on my topic?

A: 1. Use an index to identify citations to articles. 2. Compile a list of articles. 3. Determine whether the Library has direct access to the articles by checking journal titles in the Periodicals List (TDNet).
Q: What is an index?

A: A listing of articles by subject. Indexes are located on computers in the Reference area of the First Floor, and may be accessed via the Internet from other locations.
Q: What is a citation?

A: A guide to articles. Citations usually include: author's name, title of article, journal title, volume, date, and page number.
Q: The instructor said we could not use Internet sources for our paper. Why do librarians tell me to look up my topic on the Internet?

A: The Library subscribes to indexes in electronic format which are delivered via the Internet. The indexes include only publications suitable for college research (although not all are journals). Articles indexed or presented full-text are valid sources from reliable periodicals, not postings on Internet web sites.
Q: Can I look up periodical articles from home?

A: If you are registered at VC or UHV for the current semester: Yes! Find out how.
Q: Why aren't all the articles listed in the index available online?

A: Not every publisher has given copyright permission. The Library provides online access through many services. Check journal titles in the Periodicals List (TDNet) to determine whether access is available from another source.
Q: What if the journal I need is not in the Peridicals List (TDNet)?

A: Request the article on Interlibrary Loan.
Q: What if my question does not appear in this FAQ?

A: ASK a Librarian.
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