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Serials: Serials FAQs

Your place for information on magazines, journals, and other serial publications. Located on the third floor of the Library.

FAQs

What are "serials"?

A "serial" is any publication issued in successive parts which are to be continued indefinitely.  A serial could be published daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.  Serials can be issued in print, non-print, and electronic formats.  

 

Examples of serials:

  • newspapers
  • magazines
  • trade publications
  • newsletters
  • annual reviews and proceedings
  • almanacs and yearbooks
  • microforms

 

Where are the magazines and journals?

When you walk into the Serials Department on the Library's third floor you are surrounded by magazines and journals.  You may not recognize this fact, however because most of our journals and magazines have been bound to look like books.  This helps with their usability, storage, and preservation.  Once we get a year's worth of issues together, we send them off to have them bound in the brightly covered bindings you see on the shelves.  Unbound versions of magazines and journals can also be found on the shelves, and some will be found in the Browsing Section on the second floor.  To get the location or call number of any journal, simply search our catalog using the search called Periodical Title.  

 

How do I find a journal article?

To find a specific article, you should NOT use our online catalog as it searches only at the journal title level and not at the article level.  To search at the article level, you will need to search the Library's electronic databases.  These databases are listed alphabetically as well as by subject.  Suggested databases for your research needs are listed in the various other subject guides curated by liaison librarians.  If you do not know which databases to use, please contact a librarian since searching the wrong database will not return appropriate or helpful results and can prove frustrating!  

 

What if I already know the title of a journal that I'm searching for? 

The easiest way to find out if we have access (print or electronic) to a specific journal is by searching the A to Z Journal List on the Library's homepage.  Type in the name of the journal and hit the "search" button (you will be searching by "title contains" - there are other options in the drop-down menu such as "title begins with" if you're not sure of the exact name of the journal or "titles exact match" if you are certain of the title's name).  Running your search will give you all instances of the journal, both in print and online.  The results will show what years of access the Library has as well as whether it is available in one of our databases or at the publisher's site.   If it is a journal that we carry in print, you will need to click the "Allen J. Ellender Library" link which will take you to the record showing what issues/volumes/years we carry.  

 

What are the journals in my field?

There are a few ways to get journal titles for any given field (Education, Nursing, Mass Communications, etc).  

  1. Go to the Library's main page and click on Power Search.  Once you get to the Power Search page, under the subject search type in the word periodicals.  Then, in the word or phrase search box, type in your discipline: education, nursing, or mass communications for example.  This search would give you all online and print journals in any field.  You can also use the Location limiter, selecting the location called "serials stacks (3rd Floor)," to get a list of all the journals we have in print in the Serials Department.
  2. You can go to the Library's main page, and click on the A to Z Journal List.  Once you get to the A to Z listing, look for the tab that says Subjects (at the top). Your discipline may be one of the subject areas categorized by the A to Z database.  

 

What is microform / microfilm / microfiche?

Microfilm and microfiche contain miniaturized images of pages from newspapers, magazines, journals, and books.  Microforms are essential to preserving the information found in fragile materials and help to save space in a library.  

We have a microfilm reader in the Serials Department.  If you need assistance using this machine, please ask our staff or the librarian who would be happy to show you.  

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