Journal articles and databases

  • Academic journals are key sources for your university studies. They publish articles which are written by specialists in the subject and provide an insight into current thinking, debate and research in the field. Because journals are published periodically throughout the year they can be good sources of up to date information. They can also cover a specific topic in depth, e.g. a case study. 

    Here is an example of an article from an academic journal - to view it, click on the title link and log in with your Brookes student number and password when prompted:

    Bernadett Koles, B. and Nagy, P. (2012) 'Facebook usage patterns and school attitudes', Multicultural Education & Technology Journal, 6(1), pp.4-17.  In particular look at: the abstract (gives you an overview of the research project); the introduction (sets this study in the context of previous research); the discussion and conclusion (analyzes the findings of this study).

    What is peer review?

    Here is a definition of peer review:

    Castree, N., Kitchin, R. and Rogers, A. (2013) A Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: (Accessed 18 November 2018)

    How does peer review work?

    Emerald publish peer reviewed journals in the fields of business, education and training. They provide details of their peer review process here.

    Why is peer review important?

    Provides feedback so that researchers can revise and improve their papers before publication.

    Quality check:

    • Prevents falsified work from being published
    • Fact checking
    • Plagiarism checking
    • Ethical issues e.g. Conflict of interests
    • Ensures the article meets high standards expected in the discipline.

    To maintain the reputation of the journal.

    You can use LibrarySearch to search for articles, books and other resources:

    • Type your keywords or a phrase in the search box.
    • Use the filter options on the left of the results screen to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles.

    Check this quick guide Using LibrarySearch to find journal articles on a topic

    LibrarySearch is a good starting point but we recommend you also use databases to search for articles. This is because:

    • LibrarySearch doesn’t cover all of our e-resources
    • Databases offer features which allow you to tailor your search – to help you find the most relevant material.

    Check the section below for how to access and search databases.

    You can also use LibrarySearch to look up a journal title – perhaps to browse through a key title or follow up a specific reference. Check our quick guide Using LibrarySearch to find a journal title

    Quick LibrarySearch guide Using LibrarySearch to find a database

    Guide for students on Pathways programmes: Finding journal articles on a topic through LibrarySearch and databases (PDF)

    Remember you can contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for 1-to-1 help. 


    NB check the subject help pages for full details of other databases in individual subject areas.  

    Databases covering all subjects

    • Academic Search Complete covers all subject areas.
    • JSTOR database provides an archive of full-text articles from a wide range of disciplines. Note that most journals covered do not give access to most recent issues. To find similar sources, try JSTOR's Text Analyser. Upload a document e.g. an article. The tool will analyse the text and then find similar content in JSTOR.
    • Web of Science - in spite of its name, this database covers all subject areas. It's particularly useful for advanced research as it allows you to track citations to key articles. On Web of Science you can view an article and see a list of the author’s 'Cited References' - those sources that influenced the author. You can also see the article's influence on subsequent publications via the 'Times Cited' option. Find out more.

    Databases for business and hospitality subjects

    • Business Source Complete - key database for management, economics, finance, accounting and business topics. Includes academic journals, industry news and company information.  
    • Emerald Insight Full text articles from academic business journals. Also covers education and training.
    • Mintel Full text market research reports. Mainly UK plus some European reports.
    • Passport (Euromonitor) International country, economic and market research reports from Euromonitor International.
    • Hospitality and tourism complete covers scholarly research and industry news relating to all areas of hospitality and tourism.

    Databases for social and education topics

    Collections of journals from specific publishers

    NB We do not have access to all the journals in these collections. To check our holdings of a specific journal, go to the Library home page and select Journal titles, then type in the title of the journal.

    These databases are particularly useful for students doing the Media Watch project for Contemporary British Studies.

    • LexisLibrary is good for UK newspaper articles. It's a law database so to search for news articles, you'll need to click on News in the top menu bar on the initial screen.
    • Factiva is an international news database covering newspapers, magazines and web sites from all over the world. For tips, see our PDF guide How to search Factiva
    • Box of Broadcasts (BoB) This service gives you access to thousands of recorded radio and TV programmes including films from an online archive.  It allows users to record programmes which will then be stored on the database. First-time users will be prompted to register. 
    • OED online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.
    • Oxford Reference Online Collection of Oxford University Press reference books on a variety of subjects, including English and foreign language dictionaries.
    • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography This is an illustrated collection of articles providing the life stories of over 50,000 people - good, bad, famous and infamous - who have shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond.