Aids for periodicals

The large number of periodicals and their variety of articles mean that the researcher has to rely on indexes in searching for appropriate data. Most of these indexes are to be found in the reference areas of libraries.

Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory (New York: Bowker) is a good place to start because it lists subject specialisms and publication details of journals that are currently available. In the case of specifically British journals, Current British Journals: A subject guide to periodicals is helpful. Other indexing services list all the material published in specified periodicals and are produced on a regular basis with annual accumulations. They are arranged by subject matter and author but do not give detailed information on the contents of the article.

Abstracting services provide the same information as indexes and also a summary or abstract of the article that provides enough detail for the researcher to know if it is relevant. A rapidly increasing number of indexes and abstracts are now available as databases on CD-ROM disks. These include:

• ABI-Inform: business and management

• Bookbank: British books in print

• PSYCLIT: psychological abstracts

• UK Official Publications: parliamentary, non-parliamentary and non-TSO publications

• indexes and abstracts are also becoming available on the Internet.

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