What is a journal article?
Journals are similar to magazines in that they are published regularly (eg monthly).
Articles in journals are more in-depth and well-researched than magazine articles. They are written by experts in a particular field of study, and are based on the author's research.
Most of the library's journal articles are accessed electronically through the journal databases. This video, produced by the Library staff, describes how to find them.
What is a peer reviewed journal?
This is a journal where experts in the same subject area as the author must review and approve the articles before they are published. Similar terms used are: refereed journal, scholarly journal and academic journal.
Watch this video, produced by the Library staff, which explains what a scholarly journal is.
What is a database?
Journal databases are huge, searchable, up-to-date indexes of journal references. This video, produced by the Library staff, tells you what library databases are.
They help you to find high quality, up-to-date journal articles that have been published by respected publishers and publications.
If you have been asked to find scholarly articles for your assignment, you will need to search a database.
This video, prepared by the Library staff for a specific unit in Education, shows you how you can search a database that Curtin Library subscribes to.
To access Curtin's multitude of Databases, you will need to:
Note: you'll need to be logged on to OASIS (using your username and password) to access all of the databases.
A DOI is a Digital Object Identifier, which is used to uniquely identify an object, for example a journal article, in the digital environment. Find out more about DOIs and their uses here:
Need to search a database? Watch this Boolean clip from the University of Auckland, to learn how to combine search terms.
When you are searching for information on a topic, you need to work out the key concepts or ideas of your topic. You can download and print the worksheet below to help you develop your search strategy.
For more information, look at our tutorial on Analysing your assignment topic.
Different databases treat truncation and wildcard symbols in different ways. To check what symbols you should use in a particular database, check the help pages. Open the document above for some common examples of truncation and wildcard symbols.