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Library Services

Journals and Articles

Journals are an essential part of academic literature and will form part of your studies at university.

A journal article can be out within months, allowing research and development that is current to be out and available for academics and students to access and use. Journals can be published weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

Cardiff Met Library currently holds over 120 thousand journal titles in its collection across all knowledge areas, almost all of which are accessible online. Users can also access some journals in print form on campus. However, print copies are not loanable.

How to use Journal Search

Go to MetSearch and SIGN-IN. This is the most important thing to remember whenever you use MetSearch, so that you always get full access to all our electronic resources.

Journal Search is found at the top of the MetSearch screen and is used to search for Journal titles NOT articles within journals. This might be useful if there is a journal in your subject area you wish to browse, or if you cannot find a specific article by searching for it in MetSearch.

Type in a journal title or a few words from a journal title. The more words you type in will lead to fewer and more accurate results. You can also search using the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) which is the 8-digit unique serial number used to identify a journal.

If you type in keywords rather than a full title the results will show what journals we subscribe to with those words in their title. This will broaden your search and show you more journal titles.

From the results screen you can click on the title or links to access the ejournal contents. You can also add the journal title to your ‘My Favourites’ by clicking on the pin icon.

We also have a collection of print journals in both our campus libraries, which you are able to read in the library, but not borrow. NOTE: Copyright law allows you to copy one article or 10% of an issue, whichever is the greater. A print journal in our collection will have 'Available at...' in the journal's entry in the list of results (see screenshot above).

Glossary of terms

In each search result, under the journal title, you may see the following terms:

This symbol means that all articles in the journal have been scrutinised by a panel of academics before publication, thus ensuring they are of high academic standards. It is important for your work that you know you can rely on the academic integrity of the resources you are using.

STAR TIP – MetSearch resources already tick this box. Everything you find via MetSearch is peer reviewed, or otherwise checked to ensure they are academically rigorous, so you can use them in your work with confidence.

The open padlock icon means that the journal contents are freely available without access charges or other barriers. It may mean that copyright restrictions are reduced or removed.

This link will take you to BrowZine which is a site that allows you to browse the contents of particular journal issues. This is a great tool that allows you to see everything available from that journal in one place: the year, issue and volume number; article title, author and page numbers.

You can set up an account that allows you to add particular journals to your bookshelf and set up alerts for new articles. For more information see the BrowZine guide.

How to use journals by category

On the left-hand side of the journal search page there is a list of subject categories that you can use to search for journal titles relevant to your search. This can be useful to gain a broad overview of journals in a particular subject area.

Clicking on the arrows expands the categories further. The categories are still very broad in some cases and can mean there are hundreds of titles in the results. For example, the pale grey dots indicate that you have reached the lowest level of category in this subject. In the example below, clicking on the Physiology category would give you over 300 results.

Also be aware that the category list uses American terminology and spelling as MetSearch is provided by an American company.

Searching for articles

You can search for journal articles in the same way you might search for books in MetSearch by using title, author, or keywords. 

To limit search results to e-journal articles, use the 'Online Access' and ‘Articles’ filters, under the headings ‘Availability’ and ‘Resource Type’, on the right of the search results screen. Similarly, for print journals select ‘Held by Library’ and ‘Articles’.

Click on the title in the results list to view access details. If an e-journal article is available, you will see a link to the e-journal platform.

It is possible to download e-journal articles and read offline, and in most cases you can save an article as a PDF.  See the Glossary for more information.

Citation trails

MetSearch has a citation trail feature which allows you to explore a topic by following a chain of articles. Find one useful article, then discover which sources that article has cited, and which articles have cited that article. Citation trails can:

  • enhance serendipitous discovery
  • let you see the context of an article
  • reveal important journal articles and authors in a discipline if they appear repeatedly

The citation trail can be explored by clicking on one or other of the red arrow icons next to the article title.

MetSearch tracks your citation trail making it easy to navigate up or down the trail.