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History: Journal articles
A guide to finding information in history. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.
Journal articles are usually short papers on specific topics. They are published in issues or parts of journals (also called periodicals) which appear regularly. Use articles to find:
up-to-date research in your subject
reviews of developments in your subject - these review articles include extensive lists of references
Types of articles
Primary - these are first hand accounts of research that has been undertaken written by the researchers themselves.
Secondary - describe, summarize, or discuss information or details originally presented in another source. These include review articles which summarise the current state of the knowledge on a topic (many databases allow you to restrict search results to this type of article). A more specialised secondary source are systematic reviews which use the existing literature to try to answer a specific question, often including a meta-analysis of the all the studies included in the relevant articles.
Finding journal articles
Search the Summon discovery service using the box below to find full-text journal articles available via the Library. Search using topic topic words or for a specific article title.
Search databases covering your subject
Alternatively try the subject-related databases listed below. They will give you references to journal articles - they may also give you the full-text of the article, or at least link you to the full-text if it is available online.
Part of Web of Science, this citation index gives references to journal articles, letters, editorials, notes, meeting abstracts, discussions, music scores, poems, plus reviews of literature, performances and recordings in arts and humanities subjects, including history.
This database is part of the Web of Science Core Collection. To search just this part select 'Arts & Humanities Citation Index' from the 'Editions' drop down list.
Gives references to journal articles, letters, editorials, notes, meeting abstracts, discussions, music scores, poems, plus reviews of literature, performances and recordings. Covers 1970-
Covering visual arts in all media from around the world with references to journal articles, monographs, exhibition catalogues and other material.
Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) / Repertoire de la litterature de l'art (RILA) covers visual arts in all media including:
- traditional fine arts (painting, sculpture, drawing, prints, architecture)
- decorative and applied arts
- material culture
- photography and contemporary new media
- visual arts aspects of performing arts
It includes European art from late Antiquity to the present; American art from the European arrival to the present and Christian and European art in Africa, Asia, and Australia.
- Bibliography of the History of Art (1990-2007)
- Repertoire de la litterature de l'art (1975-1989)
Gives references to journal articles, conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften covering all aspects of medieval studies.
Choose the International Medieval Bibliography database when you reach the homepage.
IMB is relevant to the following disciplines:
-Arabic and Islamic studies
-English language and literature
-history and archaeology
-history of education
-medieval European languages and literatures
-rhetoric and communication studies
-theatre and performance arts
-theology and philosophy
Search this bibliography via the Iter Gateway to the Middle Ages & Renaissance. It provides more than 1.2 million citations for secondary source material about the European Middle Ages and Renaissance, 400-1700
Links to the individual resources within Iter Gateway - University username and password required:
The following freely available resources are also available: Aestimatio; Disreputable Bodies: Magic, Medicine, and Gender in Renaissance Natural Philosophy; Baptisteria Sacra Index; Medici Archive Project; Romeo and Juliet: Searchable Database for Prompt Books; and The Electronic Capito Project.
Archive of journal articles from 1880 up until a "moving wall" of between 2 and 5 years. It covers most subjects, including language, literature, history, social sciences and general sciences subjects.
Full-text archive of journal articles covering most subjects. Covers 1880s up to a 'moving wall' usually of between 2 and 5 years. Each journal title has its own 'moving wall'.
We subscribe to the following JSTOR packages: Arts & Sciences I-XI, Biological Sciences, Health & General Sciences and Ireland Collection.
We also subscribe to the 19th Century British Pamphlets collection.
Gives references to journal articles, books, conference proceedings and patents in all subjects. Also offers extensive tools to analyse results, and measure impact for articles, journals and authors.
Scopus gives references to peer-reviewed literature in all subject areas. It includes journal articles (including 'in press' items), books, conference proceedings and patents.
It is possible to search for topics, authors (including by ORCID ID), author affiliation and funders.
Extensive analytical tools also allow you to:
-analyse your search results by year, source, author, affiliation, country or territory, document type and subject area
-compare journal impact to help you decide where to publish
-see the citation impact and scholarly community engagement for an article
-analyse the citation trend for any given article, set of results or for a list of author documents
-view an author profile to analyse and track an individual's citation history
If you are on campus you will be able to access most e-journals and e-books, and some databases, without entering a username and password because your IP address identifies you as being at the University of Reading.
For any that require a login, see the Off-campus tab.
When you are off-campus you will need to login to identify yourself as a member of the University of Reading to gain access to our protected databases, e-books and e-journals.
Your login details
You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by @student.reading.ac.uk (e.g. email@example.com) and your password. If this is the first time you have logged in via this method when off-campus you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication. For more information see:
For most resources, if you follow a link from our website or catalogues your login will be picked up automatically or you will be prompted to login straightaway.
If you access resources via another route you will need to look for a login option once you reach the resource you are trying to access. Look for an institutional or shibboleth login option and pick 'University of Reading' from a list of institutions. This will then pick up your login or prompt you to login. For more information about institutional login, please see the link below: