In Pharmacy and other health and medical related disciplines, journals are a key source of information.
Evidence-based practice is an essential component of being a professional pharmacist. 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. Use the resources on this page to learn how to find articles on your topic.
UCL subscribes to an extensive range of journal titles. You can use Explore to see if we have access to a journal title (either electronically or in print) and then find a particular article within the relevant volume and issue. Watch the video below to find out how to do this, and then use the Explore search box to have a go yourself.
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 source a copy for you via the Inter Library Loans service available through Explore.
There are hundreds of relevant inter-disciplinary journals for Pharmacy, and your choice will very much depend upon the topic area you are researching at the time. Your tutors frequently refer to and publish material in these journals:
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 - the style used by Pharmacy - 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 Pharmacy include Embase, MEDLINE/PubMed and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts (IPA).
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.
For more help with grey literature, see the Other resources 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 Pharmacy include:
Reference can have multiple meanings in an academic context. It can mean: