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  24/7 A Library Research Guide and Webletter

Use periodical indexes to help locate information in magazines, journals and newspapers. The indexes may be in print or online or both. Information that is older in nature is often found only in print indexes. Choose the index and format best suited to your particular topic;ask a reference librarian if you need help in determining which index and format will be best. Many online periodical articles will be available full-text and can be sent to your e-mail account! Develop your search skills and practice often!

The Library has a variety of periodical indexes to support almost every subject area.
Look at the subject list of indexes or ask a reference librarian for suggestions. You can also look at an alphabetical list of indexes.Take the time to learn how to determine which periodical index to use to locate what you need.

Selected Books In The Oakton Library
The College Student's Research Companion
Call Number: Z710.Q37
Writing The Research Paper:A Handbook with MLA & APA Documentation Styles
Call Number: REF LB2369.W56 (RHC)

Learn the important differences between the various types of periodicals. Do you need to use popular magazines and/or scho
larly periodicals? They each serve different purposes and are written for specific audiences.

Use Ulrich's Periodical Directory to help determine if a periodical is "peer reviewed or refereed". Oftentimes, research articles must be reviewed by a "jury" of experts or scholars before they're published. This process is known as "peer-reviewed" or "refereed."
There are important differences between the various types of periodicals. Learn how to evaluate periodicals by looking at their format, intended audience, and if possible, their physical appearance.

Additional Tips

  • If you're using an online periodical index, look at the "help screen" links that can usually be found on the top or side of the screen. Information in these "help screens" can save you time and offer ideas on how to search more effectively and efficiently. Print indexes also contain "help" information; check the front of an index for these pages.
  • Online periodical indexes access traditional periodicals in electronic format. These periodicals include Newsweek, The New England Journal of Medicine and Smithsonian. Some periodicals may have their own web sites but that information may not be complete or may require a fee to access and obtain.

Many of the articles that you locate in online periodical indexes will be full text. If not, check the periodical subscription list to determine if Oakton subscribes to the periodical. The periodical subscription list is also available in print at service desks throughout the Library.
Many online periodical indexes now display Oakton subscription information. Check the screen to see if the Oakton Library subscribes to the periodical you want.
If we subscribe to the periodical, ask for it by title in the Periodicals Department. If we don't subscribe, ask a reference librarian about locating it through a different full text online periodical index or through interlibrary loan.

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