Library Resource of the month – Journals

This month we want to highlight the fantastic print journals at your physical fingertips.

Do people still read print magazines?  Journal publishers are reporting that print is restrictive in terms of accessibility and content length. Academic articles are increasingly online, due to rising print costs and drops in demand for print subscriptions (see this THES article on the future of journal publishing in the ‘digital age’: As PNAS calls time on print, will more journals follow suit?, January 8th 2019).

It is certainly true that in our institution, students are heading online using our Discovery service or subject-specific databases to find high quality academic content for their research.  We have moved significantly in that direction too – 10 years ago we had over 400 print subscriptions, now we have 150 print titles and over 40 individual online subscriptions; but alongside these we subscribe to various journal rich electronic databases which give access to over 60,000 titles.

However there are good reasons to maintain print journals depending on their audience, content and cost.

Do you browse the contents of an online journal, or go directly to the article you want? Most of us tend to target our search, missing out on that chance discovery of an unexpectedly interesting article tucked away on page 5.  A scan read of trade journals such as Law Society Gazette or Police Professional gives a quick overview of developments in the field.  And spending a few minutes in the library flicking through the latest edition can be a nice break from the desk.

Our journals are displayed with the latest edition facing out into the library.  An interesting front cover can often catch your eye – even if it’s not in your usual area of interest.  For example, the latest edition of Fit Pro in the library has features on Yin Yoga, Snow Activities and the fitness of performers in musical theatre!  Art, law or education titles might not be your usual read but all may have topics of interest from time to time.

Sometimes we don’t have a choice:  decisions from publishers still impact on which format the library subscribes to.  Contrary to opinion, not all journals are published online; some publishers are quite restrictive with their electronic access and cost to academic institutions, and accompanying images may not always appear clearly.   The latter is extremely important when viewing Arts and Creative titles so we continue to subscribe to many art & design titles including Elle Decoration and Art Monthly.

Then there is the feel of the print journal – studies show that some of us recall information better when it has been read in print rather than online, partly due to the interactive nature of print reading.  There is something about turning the page that aids memory.   In fact, many online platforms are trying to replicate the look and feel of turning the page.  You might also be aware of the various studies on screen fatigue which can impact on a reader’s comprehension and learning.

However, as we become increasingly used to reading online, and the technology improves to encourage more interactivity while reading, this may not be the case in the future (see “Screen vs. paper: what is the difference for reading and learning?” https://insights.uksg.org/articles/10.1629/uksg.236/). How we interact with online reading depends on our own preferences, experiences, and the technology.  So we in the library are always aware of the need to be flexible in ordering and maintaining journals collections.

Either way, we think that our 150 journals are worth keeping.. and we hope that you do too. So come along and discover something new in the library today!     

Access to Bradford College online library resources directly from Google Scholar

Did you know that you can now access articles directly from a Google Scholar search if we have a Bradford College subscription to them?

If you haven’t used it before, Google Scholar is a search engine that covers scholarly literature, including articles, theses, abstracts and reports from a wide range of disciplines and types of information.  It is a great way to find free material such as open source articles and reports by organisations which may not be indexed by our subscription databases. However, Google Scholar also includes links to journal articles that are behind a database paywall – in which case you can only view the citation details and abstract.

The good news is that you can now connect Google Scholar to Bradford College Library’s journals collection so that when you have access to an article, you will see a PDF or a Full-Text link appear in your results. It just takes 4 easy steps:

  1. Go to Google Scholar , click on the 3 bar icon at the top left of the page, and click on Settings. 

2. Click Library Links and search for Bradford College. You may see two options – just click on the option Bradford College – Full Text Available

 

3. Click on Save. Now when you run a search you will see a link to Full Text Available – this will take you to the Library resource.  If you are off campus you will have to sign in.

4. If you see a screen like the one below saying “If the page does not display”, click on open the page in a new window. This sometimes happens if the article is from a third party database (eg Emerald) or if EBSCO needs a prompt to display properly!

 

caution icon If you have any problems accessing our resources in this way, please let us know.  We may need to tweak our settings!

Remember – not all the content on Google Scholar will be available through the Library or free online.  If you find something on Google Scholar that you can’t access, get in touch with us and we may be able to help.