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Academic journals

DBS Library Getting Good Grades Series

Journal collection One of the main components of any third level academic library is a journal collection. In the Business Library we have a comprehensive holding of over 200 titles in print and several thousands in electronic format. Journals (or periodicals as they are sometimes referred to) are identifiable on the library catalogue with the prefix J. Most of the titles available in print are also accessible online via the library website at For full listings of print journal holding refer to the ‘A to Z list’ available via the library website.

Features of an academic journal There are three basic types of journal:

• Academic/scholarly: most useful and important for research purposes e.g. International Journal of Human Resource Management, Journal of International Business Studies • Trade: useful if researching an industry or single topic e.g. map, Computer scope • Popular: useful for current awareness and current affairs e.g. Time, Newsweek The table below highlights some of the main features of academic, trade and popular journals.

Academic Journals

Trade Journals

Popular Journals

Usually refereed

Generally not refereed, some may contain occasional refereed articles

Not refereed

More specialised audience

Based on a single industry or a single topic

Wide audience

Content very theory based. Includes original research or review of research of a topic

Includes case studies and news from industry

Broad content

Uses technical language

Uses jargon of industry/profession

Non technical, often simple language

Authors listed, includes author information

Authors listed but no author information

May not have a listed author or any author information

Articles often include an abstract

Some include short abstracts

No abstract included

Articles have lots of references and an in-dept bibliography

Articles have 3-4 references only

No references

No advertising

Advertising related to industry/profession


Often only black and white with few pictures, except Creative Arts titles

Uses images and colour

Uses lots of pictures and colour

Dublin Business School Library 13/14 Aungier Street | Dublin 2 | Phone: 01-417 7572 19/22 Dame Street | Dublin 2 | Phone 01-417 8745 Email:

What are ‘peer-reviewed’ / ‘refereed’ journals? Articles submitted for publication to scholarly journals are usually ‘peer reviewed’ / ‘refereed’ to make sure that they are of high standard. During the refereeing process, articles are checked by respected authorities in the field. The peer review process does not simply involve correcting spelling mistakes. The review board will investigate and challenge each and every one of the author’s assumption and conclusions. Research assistants will double-check all facts, quotations, calculations and claims. A reputation for consistent quality increases the status and academic standing of the journal and ensures that material published is trustworthy and accurate.

Why use academic journals? Academic journals provide specialist knowledge in subject areas. Often they summarise a specific topic providing fresh or innovative insights into the area. These can provide more detail than an academic textbook. An important point to bear in mind is that journal articles tend to report on more up-to-date research than textbooks. Articles in academic journals are often published as book chapters several years later. If the article is of use make sure to consult the bibliography – it may point towards books or other articles that will also be of value. If you are looking for material not available in the library, please ask about our inter-library loan service (final year and post-graduate students only).

Using databases to find academic journals The following resources have the ability to search for journal titles and journal articles: - Heritage (library catalogue): available via the library website - Library A to Z list: available via the library website - Emerald: available via the library website - WARC: available via the library website These can be searched by title, author, subject or keyword.

Dublin Business School Library 13/14 Aungier Street | Dublin 2 | Phone: 01-417 7572 19/22 Dame Street | Dublin 2 | Phone 01-417 8745 Email:

Academic journals  

More specialised audience Based on a single industry or a single topic Academic Journals Trade Journals Popular Journals DBS Library Getting...

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