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Political Studies and Policy and Development Studies: Journals

What is a journal?

 A journal (periodical) is a scholarly publication containing articles written by researchers, academics, practitioners and other experts. Journals usually focus on a specific discipline or field of study. Articles in journals often deal with very specific aspects of topics and in depth. If you want a broad overview of your topic, start with a text book. Journals are like magazines: different issues or parts are published at regular intervals and each has the same title. Often each part has a number and all the parts for a year have a volume number. Usually several authors write articles per issue.

Not all journals or articles are available full text online. There are various ways to access online journals - see the centre column of this page or click on the Databases tab.

 Newspapers are also periodicals although generally not scholarly but may be a useful source of information. Most newspapers have online versions. SA Media on Sabinet provides scanned newspaper articles from a wide range of South African newspapers going back several decades and the Newspaper gateway provides access to a useful range of newspapers from around the world. Iolnews is a useful online source of South African news. See also the UKZN Library's newspaper page.

Finding journals and journal articles in World Cat Local

Finding online journals and articles

Most academic journals are not freely available via Google or Google Scholar. Libraries pay for access and publishers / vendors put together collections of journals for multiple years in databases. These collections may be country or subject specific or multidisciplinary. The Library does not have full text access to every journal that exists.

There are different ways to search for journals and journal articles:

1. Search the icatalogue, using the advanced search option. Icatalogue lists all titles of journals as well as articles in journals accessible to UKZN.

2. Search an academic database by topic, author or journal title. Click on the Resources tab at the top of this page for more information and a list of databases, OR, from the toolbar on the UKZN Library homepage, under Electronic Resources, select Databases A-Z and choose the required option.

3. Search the e-journals collection of the Library for a particular journal and / or article where details are known.

4. Search GoogleScholar. GoogleScholar is like an international index to journal articles, reports etc. GS can only provide free access to articles if publishers allow it but where UKZN pays for access to an article, click on the article title to get to the full text.


SABINET Online provides a listing of all journals and journal articles published in South Africa in ALL subject areas.

Click on SABINET ONLINE and (a) choose the 'Search' tab from the toolbar. There are two collections to choose from: Index to South African Periodicals ( ISAP) (just an index 1987+) and SA and African Electronic Journals (full text). (b) from the front of the Sabinet page (right hand side bottom half of the page), click on Journal articles and then either SA e publications or ISAP.

Full text articles from South African newspapers are available from SA Media on Sabinet. From 'Search all' on the toolbar, tick in the box next to SA Media.


Click on the Databases tab at the top of this page for links to databases containing international journals. Search iCatalogue which includes online articles from journals UKZN subscribes to.




Key journals for Political Studies and Public Policy

In the Cecil Renaud Library, Pietermaritzburg, print journals are housed on the first floor and are arranged alphabetically according to title.

In the E.G. Malherbe Library in Durban, journals are arranged according to the Dewey Decimal Classification numbering scheme with the prefix J. 

Many of the journals listed below are available in print as well as online. In many cases, print has been terminated in favour of online subscriptions.

Finding print journals

  • From the Library website click on Advance search.
  • Type in the title of the journal and on format select journal, magazine.
  • Find the relevant journal and click on availability.
  • Click on view item details to locate the shelf number.

Brief guide to finding journal articles and journals

Need the names of a few journals?

Accredited journals lists

The Department of Higher Education approves South African journals for SAPSE accreditation purposes and also provides links to all accredited lists. These are available from the UKZN Research office home page.

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