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School of Chemistry and Physics: Journals

Browse our journal collection


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.


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 an academic database by topic, author or journal title. Click on the Databases 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.

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

For an overall list of Chemistry and Physics journals that UKZN has some sort of online access to, go to the e journals page and choose the option 'Category'  Chemistry or Physics from the scroll down list.

3. Search GoogleScholar. GoogleScholar 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) from the 'Search' option on the toolbar choose either Index to SA Periodicals (ISAP) (just an index 1987+) or SA and African Electronic Journals (full text). (b) to search multiple collections at once, from the 'Search all' option on the toolbar, unselect all and tick in the boxes next to wanted options. 

SciELO (Scientific electronic library online) is "South Africa’s premier open-access (free to access and free to publish) searchable full-text journal database in service of the South African research community. The database covers a selected collection of peer-reviewed South African scholarly journals"


You can also click on the Databases tab at the top of this page for links to databases containing international journals


American Chemical Society online journals

Royal Society of Chemistry online journals

Scifinder Scholar


American Physical Society online journals

Institute of Physics (IOP) online journals



Science Direct

Springer Link

Web of Knowledge


Ingenta Connect




Finding print journals

  • From the Library website click on iLink catalogue.
  • Type in the title of the journal and click on the blue journal tab.
  • Click on Full record to get details about which issues and years of the journal are held by which library
  • Find the journal in the relevant section of the library. (Pmb library keeps its journals separate from the books and in alphabetical order by journal title).

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 UKN Research office home page.

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