Finding journal articles for Film

  • 1. I need to find journal articles on my topic. Where do I start?

    Databases can help you to trace journal articles in your subject area. They may also cover other publications as well such as books, book chapters, reports, theses, newspapers, web sites. So, if you know your topic and need to find out what's been written on it, try searching one of the Databases for Film.

    This guide will give you tips on how to search these databases effectively.

    NB If you want to find a specific journal article and have all the details (journal title, volume number, pages numbers etc.), see section 7 How do I get the full-text articles?

    2. Why can't I just use Google?

    Anybody can create their own web page and make it available on the web .There is a vast amount of information there - billions of documents - but the tricky thing can be retrieving good quality web sites, rather than those that contain trivia and misinformation. Google will help you search the Internet, but you are likely to find thousands of results and they may not be substantial enough to use for your academic research. When using the Internet for your studies, you need to be selective in the sites you choose and evaluate them just as you would printed sources.

    A search on Google may also give you details of journal articles which you can't access in full-text. In this case, use the Journal titles tab on LibrarySearch to see if we have the journal you need.

    3. Why should I use journal articles?

    Journals are a good place to find information which is:

    • up to date
    • scholarly/academic
    • written by specialists in the subject
    • provides an insight into current thinking, debate and research in the area
    • covers a topic in depth, e.g. a case study
    • may not be covered in books or other publications

    4. How do I know which database to use?

    See the guide Databases for Film for a list of relevant databases which the Library subscribes to.

    5. How do access these databases? Can I search them from home?

    The Databases for Film are web databases available to Brookes staff and students from on and off campus. Click on the underlined link of the title to connect to the database. Log in when prompted with your Brookes username and password.

    6. How do I search these databases?

    One database may look different from another, but there are usually some common features which can help you in your search. There is often the choice of a simple search or advanced search (which will give you more search options). Most databases have their own help pages.

    Planning your search beforehand will make it easier to construct your search. Think about your topic. You will not be able to search electronic resources using full sentences, so you’ll need to break your topic down into specific keywords or phrases. Start by brainstorming your topic and breaking it down into search terms:

    • make a list of relevant keywords
    • think of broader/narrower/related terms for these
    • try synonyms/alternative terms - a thesaurus might help with this. (Some databases have their own thesaurus).

    N.B. These are the most common rules for building up a database search, but use on-screen help facilities to check if they apply to your chosen database.

    Combining terms

    • use and to combine terms and narrow your search, e.g. children and television, - this will find all references containing both terms.
    • Use or to search for alternative terms and broaden your search, e.g. car or automobile, - this will find references containing either or both terms.
    • Use not to exclude a term, e.g. computers not software, will find all references containing the term “computers” but which do not contain the term “software”.

    Phrase searching
    If you are searching for a particular phrase, put the phrase in inverted commas, e.g.“market research” will find all references where market research is written as a phrase.

    Advanced searching

    • Use the truncation symbol * added to the root of a word to search for alternative endings, e.g. manage* will not only find manage, but also manager, management, managerial etc.
    • Use the ? symbol to replace a character in a word e.g. sociali?ationn will find references that contain both socialization and socialisation.
    • Use of brackets to combine different connectors, e.g. children and (television or videos) will find references that contain the terms children and television; children and videos; children and television and videos.

    7. How do I get the full-text articles?

    Full-text articles are available from many databases. Other databases provide abstracts (summaries), a link will appear below a reference if we have access through other electronic resources. .

    Alternatively you can check LibrarySearch to see whether we have the item you want, use the Journal titles tab to look for journals. 

    If the journal is not in stock, you can request a copy of the article through the Interlibrary Loans service. Articles usually arrive within 3 working days.

    8. Where can I get further help?