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Agriculture: 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.

South African online journals

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.  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. Search a specific academic database by topic, author or journal title.

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

    Finding South African journal articles

    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 'Search' on the toolbar choose a journal collection. There are two: Index to South African Periodicals (ISAP) (just an index 1987+) and SA and African Electronic Journals (full text since 2001). Click on your choice. (b) To choose to search several collections simultanouesly, choose the 'Search all' option from the toolbar.

    Full text articles from South African newspapers are available from SA Media on Sabinet.

    Finding international journals and articles

    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.

    Open Access


    Open Access (OA) is the practice of providing unrestricted access via the internet to peer reviewed scholarly journal articles.

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