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English Literature: researching your dissertation: Finding journals/journal articles

This guide gives an overview of the range of resources available to you when researching your dissertation topic. Topics covered include developing effective search strategies and finding scholarly primary and secondary source material.

Why use journal articles?

Journal articles are useful because they can provide:

  • up-to-date research in your subject
  • reviews of developments in your subject - these review articles include extensive lists of references

There are several methods for finding relevant journals and journal articles on your dissertation topic, these include

  • Searching Enterprise for journals
  • Searching Summon for journal articles
  • Searching across the Library's e-journal collections, e.g. Project Muse or JSTOR
  • Searching subject-specific bibliographic databases
  • Using the Library's online subscriptions to periodical archives, e.g. British Periodicals

Finding journal articles

Searching Summon

As a first step, search the Summon discovery service for relevant articles from e-resources subscribed to by the Library, which are available in full text for you to view online or download.

Using subject-specific bibliographic databases

Bear in mind that searching Summon will only provide you with results taken from e-resources that the University subscribes to.

For a wider overview of articles and theses on your chosen dissertation topic you should also make use of subject-specific bibliographic databases, like the MLA Bibliography, or the Arts & Humanities Citation Index. An online tutorial about using different search methods with the MLA is available on this page.

Why is using the MLA Bibliography better than searching Google? 

Although the University may not subscribe to all the journals listed in these bibliographies, if there is a particular article you would like for your research which we don't have in stock, make use of our inter-library loans service to obtain a copy.

Useful tip: If you find an article which is particularly pertinent to your topic, use the references given within the article to find further material, the same as you would a bibliography at the end of a book. 

Arts & Humanities journals

Finding relevant journals

We subscribe to a wide range of journals relevant to English and American Literature

Finding journals by title
Search the Enterprise catalogue to find journal titles held by the Library (in print or online).

Finding journals by topic
You can either search by title or, if you are looking for journal covering a particular topic., e.g. 'postcolonial studies' or 'Shakespeare', you can search Enterprise using relevant keywords and then refine your results using the left hand menu to only show 'Journals' by clicking on the Journals link.

If your topic is very specific you may find that this method of searching is not as effective as searching for journal articles. 

Just a few of the Libray's journal titles related to literature are listed below.


Getting items not held at Reading

Map of the south of the UKOur Inter-Library Loans service can get articles, books and other publications not held at Reading from other libraries (usually from the British Library).

For more information see our webpages: