Research Help

Research Help Tutorial:
Reading a Journal Record

Text Version

This tutorial will help you find out whether the library owns a particular journal or newspaper, the years we have access to, the formats it is available in, and how to locate them in the Ole Miss library.

Most people think of the library Catalog as a website that tells you what books and videos we own. It actually covers a wide variety of items in the library, such as government documents, archives, journals, magazines, and newspapers. A journal’s catalog record can tell you:

A journal record can NOT look up an article title, or help you find an article on a topic; for that you would need to use the Articles & Databases link. So, when would you use the Journals & Newspapers link? The following examples are taken from two of last year’s class assignments; both of these can be done most easily by using the Journals & Newspapers link.

#1: Find an article from a Mississippi newspaper that was printed on the day you were born, and report on an historic event that occurred that day. Let’s assume your birthday is July 4, 1991.

What we need to find is the 7/4/1991 issue of a common Mississippi newspaper, such as the Clarion Ledger. From the library’s homepage, select the Journals & Newspapers link to begin your search. Type the name of your selected newspaper into the box, and then click Submit. If there is more than one option, select the one that most closely resembles your title. You should now be looking at the catalog record for the Clarion Ledger.

Each box under the title represents a different Location where that periodical can be found. The boxes also indicate which years the Library Has in each format. The first box tells what years we own in microfilm; the date we need, 7/4/1991, falls in the middle of that range, so it is available in the Microforms department. The Current Periodicals section contains print copies. Clicking on the Checkin Card link would show you which issues we have on the shelf in Current Periodicals.

As you now know, the source we need is in the Microforms Department. Clicking on the Microforms link takes you to a floor map of the library. You can hover your mouse over the Zoom in on range box to see an image that highlights where your source is located.

Ignore the information below the blue bar on a journals record—it will often have incomplete or misleading information. Now, let’s move on to our second assignment.

#2 Biology assignment: Read "Higher Temperatures Seen Reducing Global Harvests" (page 193) and "On the Origin of Life on Earth" (198-199) in Volume 323, 9 Jan 2009, Science.

To start this assignment, you need to:

Once again, go to the library’s homepage and select the Journals & Newspapers link to begin your search. Type the name of your selected journal into the box, click Submit, and select the Science link. There will often be occasions, such as with the Clarion Ledger, that what you need is not online. This record for the journal "Science" shows most of the places one could find a journal in the J.D. Williams library.

As you can see, this journal is available in several locations: online, bound volumes, current periodicals, microfilm, and the annex. If the journal is available online, that will be indicated in the first location box. This title is available in 5 different databases; the date range covered by each database is displayed to the right of its link. Notice that 4 of these have ending dates that fall short of 2009. Full text from Publisher is the only one with no closing date, which means it goes through the current issue.

Journals received in paper are in the Current Periodicals room; like newspapers, you can click the Checkin Card to see what issues are on the shelf. When a full volume of issues have arrived, they are removed from current periodicals and bound together like a hardcover book; these are referred to as Bound Volumes The dates that the library has bound are shown below “Main Library Bound Volumes.” They are shelved according to call number, found at the top of the page under the Title.

Several of our older journals will only be available in microfilm.

Microfilm and microfiche used to be the preferred way to store and preserve hundreds of years of magazines in a small area, so several of our older journals are only available in microfilm.