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How to Use the Guides

Journal Articles

Find Journal Articles

Journal articles have some advantages over books. Journal articles tend to be much shorter than books. This allows you to gain information more quickly. Journal articles are usually more current than books. In the sciences, this can be especially important for research articles. Most scholarly journal articles will also have good bibliographies.

Print journals in the APU University Libraries can be found by using the APOLIS online catalog. Besides the print collection of journals, you may also obtain journal articles through many of APU Libraries' online databases.


In this section, you will find a select list of the best and most relevant journals for the particular subject. These are all journals that APU Libraries own in one format or another. You will find a choice of formats to the right of the journal title. "Print" indicates that the journal is in print and on the shelves at one of our APU Libraries. "Online" indicates that you can obtain at least some full-text articles online from one of our databases.

How Do I Use This Information?
  1. If you click on the "Print" option, you will be taken into the APOLIS online catalog to the record for the journal (see below). Notice that below the publication information, you will find the information you need to locate the item. Be sure to check your citation for the exact volume and issue, and compare it to the "Holdings" information in the record – APU Libraries may not own the entire run of the journal. If not, you should click on the "Online" link if there is one, or you should request the desired journal article through interlibrary loan.

    graphic of an APOLIS record
  2. If you click on the "Online" option, you will be taken into Periodical Finder to the listings for the journal title. Choose the database you prefer (remember to check the publication dates covered by each different database) by clicking on the link provided. You will then be taken into the database. Depending on the database, you might see a list of volume/issue links for the journal, and you would just click on the links and scroll through your results to find your article of interest. You might also see search boxes where you should enter the journal title in one, a few unique words from the article title (or the author's last name) in the second, and perform your search to get your article of interest.

Print Periodical Indexes

Periodical indexes are reference tools that help you locate articles in journals. You will certainly find records for journals in the APOLIS library catalog, but the records are only to give you some basic information about the journals that APU Libraries own. You cannot use APOLIS to actually search inside the journals – that's where periodical indexes come in. Periodical indexes are usually subject-specific, and will have citations for every article in hundreds of relevant journals, and are usually published annually. You will often find that the indexes will have a few different ways for you to look for articles – listings by subject and by author are the most common.

The items listed in this section are print periodical indexes, and are located on the shelves of one of the APU Libraries. Many indexes are now available in both print and online format. Most of the online databases that APU Libraries provide are actually online periodical indexes. Many people these days prefer the convenience of online searching as opposed to coming to the library and searching through the print periodical indexes, volume by volume. However, most online periodical indexes (with very few exceptions) have only indexed the last 5-10 years of any given journal. The print versions of most indexes go back many years, and can be useful in retrieving older journal articles.

How Do I Use This Information?
  1. Click on the link provided – this will take you either to the item record in the APOLIS2 catalog, or the webpage.
  2. If it is a library item, there are several things to note in the record (see the example below). The "Location" section will tell you in which library or libraries the item is located. The "Call No." is what you'll need to locate the item on the shelf once you get to the appropriate library. But before you go, be sure to check the "Status" section to see if the item is available for checkout (as in the example below) – reference materials are never available for checkout, and will always have a "Library Use Only" status.
Record from APOLIS library catalog


A database is simply an organized collection of "stuff." When you see the term "database," it most likely is an organized collection of information, and is usually available online. Most of the databases available through the APU Libraries are collections of journal article citations. Each database contains a different group of journals (usually by subject). For each journal, someone has gone through several years of it and made an electronic record of each article in every issue. Full-text databases not only contain the electronic record, but also contain the text of the article itself.

There are also databases that don't contain any full-text. However, these databases are still useful because they are the only means by which you can search for journal articles. APU Libraries' online library catalog, APOLIS, will tell you which journals we have on our shelves, but will not search inside the journals.

And lastly, there are databases that contain records and full-text for other types of information, such as book reviews, book citations, abstracts of articles and books, and several other things. One of our databases, the Classical Music Library, contains audio files, as well as biographical information. The annotations on the online resources page will help you to determine what each database contains.

The links provided in this section go to the databases that are most relevant for the subject guide topic.

How Do I Use This Information?
  1. Click on the link for the database.
  2. Enter one or more search terms and perform your search.
  3. If you are using a database that contains full-text, look for links that say "full-text." After clicking on the link, you can usually either save the item to a disk, or print out the item.
  4. If the item you want has no full-text link, check for full-text in a different database by using Periodical Finder (see section below). If no other database contains the article, you may request it through interlibrary loan.

Getting Journal Articles

Even though the APU Libraries' databases contain the full-text for thousands of journals, your searches will likely provide results lists that include at least a few articles without full-text. When this is the case, there are a couple of options to try. First, use the Periodical Finder tool. Periodical Finder "knows" if there is another database that contains at least some full-text for a particular journal. If Periodical Finder doesn't give you any other databases to try, then you may still obtain your article through interlibrary loan.

How Do I Use This Information?
  1. First, click on the link for Periodical Finder. If you are using a computer on campus, you will see a search box where you will enter the title of the journal that contains your article. If you are using a compute off campus, you will not see a search box, and will need to find your journal title by clicking on the alphabetical listing of first letters.
  2. If you find your journal title, you may see one of the following listings:

    in Print/Microform titles for Azusa Pacific
    from 09/21/1992 to present in Academic Search Premier
    • "Print/Microform titles for Azusa Pacific" indicates that one of the APU Libraries has the journal on the shelf. By clicking on this link, you will be taken into the APOLIS online library catalog and can see which issues we have, as well as where the journal is located.
    • "Academic Search Premier" is the the name of a database. You may see several databases listed – Academic Search Premier is one of over 100 databases that APU Libraries subscribe to. By clicking on this link, you will be taken into the database. Depending on the database, you may be taken to a list of volumes/issues for the journal, or you may simply be taken to the search box for that database. It is important to note that you won't ever be taken directly to the article you want – some browsing and/or searching will be required.
  3. Before clicking on any link, be sure to note the publication date and volume/issue number. Compare this information to the years that the database covers (information to the left of the database link), or to the issues that APU owns (after clicking on the link, you will see this information in the APOLIS record – see below).

    Example APOLIS Record:
    graphic of an APOLIS record
  4. If APU Libraries don't have the issue you need, or you can't get the article in full-text through any of the databases, you will need to obtain the article through interlibrary loan. Go to the interlibrary page for more information.

Written by Michelle Spomer, May 23, 2007