In medicine and health related disciplines, journals are a key source of information. Journals are published regularly and contain succinct research reports from many different authors.
Evidence-based practice is an essential component of being a healthcare professional. Academic journals are a significant tool enabling the constant updating of the evidence base, so it's important you get to grips with finding and evaluating their contents early on in your degree programme.
Depending on the citation style, journal titles may be written in full or they may be abbreviated. It is important that you are consistent when citing journal articles, so you will need to know where to find the full journal titles if you are only provided with the abbreviated version, e.g. the British Journal of Medical and Surgical Urology is abbreviated as Br J Med Surg Urol.
You can use Explore to find journal articles. This is particularly useful if you know the article title already, for example if you have been directed to read it by your tutor or found it via something else you are reading. Watch the video below to find out how to do this, and then use the Explore search box to have a go yourself!
Looking to see what else has been published on a topic to help with your research? Check out the databases pages of this guide to find out how - follow the link below.
UCL has an amazing collection of electronic resources, but no library can have full-text access to everything. If you identify a piece of information that would be beneficial to your research, the library will try and source a copy for you via the Inter Library Loans service.You can make a request by logging into UCL Explore and then clicking on the three dots 'show more' menu to access the Inter Library Loan Request form.
If you're using one of our databases to find journal articles, you might not be able to read the article within the database itself. If you see the Findit@UCL icon, click on it to link to the full text
Sometimes you will see a link to the publisher's site. Unless the article is open access, you might find that you can't reach the full text.
Clicking on the Findit@UCL link instead will link you to the full text via UCL's subscription access, if available.
If you're using Google Scholar you can set up the Library Links feature so that it will display a findit@UCL link to help show you which articles are available via UCL subscriptions.
An abstract is a short description of the content of an article, usually displayed on abstracting and indexing databases or underneath the title information of a full-text article. The abstract should give you a brief overview of aims, methods, results and conclusions, meaning you can use it to identify potentially important articles to read in full.
An article is a single piece of published scholarly research. An article is the write up of a research study. Multiple articles are published in a single volume of a journal.
Synonyms: study, research paper
Citations are part of the referencing, or credit-giving, process. Citations are snippets of information that refer the reader to another information source. They may appear in the body of the text or as footnotes or endnotes, depending upon the referencing style being used. To avoid plagiarising, you must "cite" your sources as you create your own original work.
In Havard referencing a citation will include the surname(s) or organisation name of the author of the information; the year in which the information was published; and if relevant, a page number. See the referencing and reference management pages in this guide for more help.
Example: The drug Remdesivir has been declared as a viable treatment for symptoms arising from Covid-19 (NICE, 2020).
Synonyms: in-text citation, reference
A database is a searchable collection of journal and article records. You can search a database using keywords or technical vocabulary and any matching results will be displayed. These results should be relevant for the topic you are researching.
Databases will not automatically provide the full-text of an article, but you will be able to access the vast majority of results using the 'Find it@UCL' link in the database record.
Important databases for Medicine include MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase and CINAHL.
Synonyms: abstracting & indexing database, A&I database
Grey literature refers to any information source that is not commercially published, for instance in the way that journals such as "Nature" or "Science" are. NICE Evidence is an example of grey literature.
For more help with grey literature, see the Grey literature tab in this subject guide.
Synonyms: unpublished literature, ephemeral literature
A journal is a collection of articles in a specific field of research. Journals are assembled by a board of editors to check the quality and relevance of any articles submitted to them for publication.
Important journal titles for Medicine include:
Reference can have multiple meanings in an academic context. It can mean: