Anatomy Of A Journal - Open University

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Anatomy of a journal1. IntroductionThis short activity will walk you through the different elements which form a Journal.Learning outcomesBy the end of the activity you will be able to: Understand what an academic journal is Identify a journal article inside a journal Understand what a peer reviewed journal is2. What is a journal?Firstly, let's look at a description of a journal.Journals are like academic magazines and cover a particular topic or area of interestand are usually published or issued on a regular basis: quarterly, monthly or evenannually. Ejournals are simply online versions. As with magazines each issue of ajournal contains a number of articles.Explore more information on how journals are published - and what is publishedinside them – below:PublishingA journal publishes regularly; this could be monthly, quarterly or even annually.However, the content is entirely different each time, it is closer to a magazine than abook in this regard.A book is published once, any new publications are: Reprints - where the content doesn't change Editions - where the content is updatedBeing digital Copyright 2020 The Open University1

A magazine is published regularly under the same title.Think of a popular magazine like Cosmopolitan, the content is different in each newissue but the title Cosmopolitan is the same.It is important to understand the differences in publishing times as the frequency ofpublications allows journals to cover more up to date research than a book.ContentJournals can contain a whole range of items. AbstractsArticlesBook reviewsConference ProceedingsEditorial notesOpinion pieces. and more!Finding and using journal articles is a key part of academic study, we will look at howto identify the different elements that make a journal article later on in this activity.3. Journal publicationThe nature of a journal means that different content is regularly published under thesame title. It can be confusing to understand which section you are accessingonline.An example of a reference to a journal article, published in the Canadian Journal ofPhilosophy, looks like this:Cormier, A. and Rossi, M. (2019) ‘Is children’s wellbeing different from adults’wellbeing?’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 49(8), pp. 1146–1168. doi:10.1080/00455091.2019.1619354.The numbers 49(8) after the journal title (Canadian Journal of Philosophy) tells us isthat this article written by Cormier and Rossi is in volume 49, issue (or part) 8.Being digital Copyright 2020 The Open University2

4. Test yourselfUnderstanding that journal publication is divided into volumes and issues(sometimes called parts) can make it easier to track down articles online or in printedcopies.Look at the reference and try answering the question.Montagna, Maria Teresa et al. (2019) ‘Chocolate, “Food of the Gods”: History,Science, and Human Health’, International Journal of Environmental Research andPublic Health, 16(24), p. 4960. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16244960.Which volume of the International journal of environmental research and publichealth is this article published in? 201916496024Answer2019 is the year of publication.16 is the volume of the journal the article was published in – this is the correctanswer!4960 is the number of the first page this article was published on.24 is the issue number of the journal this article was published in. Journals are subdivided into volumes, these volumes are then subdivided into issues (or parts).5. Anatomy of a journal articleWhen we looked at what a journal is, we saw that journals can include more than justarticles.Reviews, editorials and discussions are all useful but for your studies, you want tofocus on articles.Journal articles are structured in a particular way, which makes them easier toidentify.Being digital Copyright 2020 The Open University3

Explore the structure of a journal article by reading through the sections below:AbstractThis is a summary of the article.Tip: Read the abstract to determine whether or not the article is likely to focus on thetopics in which you are interestedIntroductionThis is the background to the article and explains why the topic has been researchedfor this article.Tip: It can also be helpful to read the introduction and conclusion of an article beforereading an article straight through.Main bodyThis is often broken up into subsections.For example, it may include ‘Methods’ which sets out the methodology they used.The final section is always the ‘Conclusion’.Tip: It is often helpful to read the conclusion as it gives an overview of the articlefindings.ReferencesAt the end of the article there will be a reference list containing every article cited bythe author.Tip: You can use their references to follow-up claims and evidence made by theauthor; try inputting an author/title from the reference list into Library Search.Being digital Copyright 2020 The Open University4

6. Peer ReviewAcademic journals often go through a quality check process called peer-review.It involves a board of experts scrutinizing an academic paper before agreeing topublish it in the journal.It is good to use peer-reviewed journals as it means the content is: very reliableconforms to high academic standardsa suitable source for an assignment.When searching for journal articles you can often filter your searches in LibrarySearch or databases to look for peer-reviewed articles only.7. SummaryYou should now be able to: Understand what an academic journal isIdentify a journal article inside a journalUnderstand what a peer reviewed journal isNext Steps Try browsing through a journal relevant to your subject areaTry looking for peer-reviewed journal article in your subject area.Being digital Copyright 2020 The Open University5

Anatomy of a journal 1. Introduction This short activity will walk you through the different elements which form a Journal. Learning outcomes By the end of the activity you will be able to: Understand what an academic journal is Identify a journal article inside a journal Understand what a peer reviewed journal is 2. What is a journal? Firstly, let's look at a description of a .

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