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Education: Journals

Use unit reading lists

  • Tip to save you time and start your research on the best track: check and follow links using your unit e-reading lists (select the 'Reading List' link in your unit on Brightspace). Or, check your course handbook for recommended resources and ask your course leader(s) for advice. Plus, regularly check your units in Brightspace where course leaders may post and upload extra resources.


mySearch is an interface which allows you to search across a range of library resources simultaneously, including books, e-books, journal articles and databases

Finding journal articles

How to access e-resources

BU Library's how to access e-resources webpage (gaining access on-campus and off-campus)

  • Need IT help? If you experience any technical difficulties, contact BU IT services 24/7 phone line 01202 965515 or freephone 0808 196 2332 and they'll do their best to help troubleshoot.
  • You may email (attaching screenshots helps the investigation process).

I cannot access a journal article

  • Need IT help? If you can't get access to a journal article and experiencing technical difficulties contact BU IT Services: 24/7 phone line (01202 965515 or freephone 0808 196 2332). Or email (attaching screenshots helps).
  • Do not pay to access any journal articles, contact us and we can check if BU Library subscribes or confirm if you could request it using our inter-library loan service.

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Highly Cited Journals

Some databases record the number of citations that journals and articles receive.

These "citation" or "bibliometric" databases can be a useful source of information if you are researching which journal to publish your articles in.

There are two main citation databases available from the library:

  1. Journal Citation Reports is part of the Web of Science database from Thompson-Reuters (click on the tab at the top of the Web of Science page to access the reports). You can view the most highly cited journals in different subject areas. It includes reports on highly cited journals in the categories: Education & Educational Research; Education, Scientific Disciplines; and Education, Special.
  2. Scopus is the world's largest citation database where you can browse and compare different journals. Scopus tutorials shows you how to browse and analyse journals.

Why use journals for university level research?

Print and electronic journals are an important source of specialist information:

  • Journals are published daily, weekly, monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly, so material is up to date.
  • Journals are usually the first place that academic research is published.
  • Many journals are peer-reviewed, meaning articles have been critically reviewed by academic experts in the field before publication. The YouTube video below 'What is peer review?' explains this and here's further explanation of what peer-reviewed means.
  • Make sure your research involves reading many peer-reviewed academic journal articles and include a range of them in your assignment reference lists.
  • Your assignment reference lists need to highlight that you've researched a range of different sources (not just some books and websites; study peer-reviewed articles, reports, conference papers, newspapers etc.).

How to read a journal article when you're pressed for time (infographic)


lameezomarjee, 2014. Infographic: how to read journal articles [online]. Wordpress. Available from: [Accessed 27 August 2021].