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Economics Library Guide: What are journals

Journal FAQs

What is a journal?

A journal is like an academic magazine where scholars have written articles about their research.

What is the difference between a book and a journal article?

A book is a longer, and a usually more comprehensive text on a subject.

Journal articles are shorter, and more specific. They are published more frequently and so have more up-to-date information than books do.

Why use journals?

  • They are usually more up to date than books.
  • As most of them have been checked by other academics (i.e. peer reviewed), they are more reliable than general web articles and newspaper articles.
  • They are shorter to read than books.

Journals at UCT Libraries

At UCT Libraries we have journals in both print and electronic format.

To find print journals, use Primo.  The journals are physically housed in three different areas. Here’s where to find them:

  • The most recent ones are in the Current Journals display in the Upper Level of the Research Wing;
  • From 1965 to present are shelved on Levels 2 and 3 as follows:
    • 001.305 SOU - 629.105 JOU ... Lower Level (down the spiral stairs). 
    • 629.105 JOU - 960.05 JOU... Basement Blocks E and F. 
  • Pre-1965 journals are housed in the Libraries' store on Middle Campus and must be requested at the Loans Desk.

To find electronic journals, use the Primo, Databases and Databases by platform

Top 20 Economics Journals

Ranked by Impact Factor (2017 Journal Citation Reports)