Electronic Journal Workbook

Using E-journals @ Aber



What is an electronic journal / e-journal? In the context of 'the library', this refers to a periodical, serial, journal or regularly published group of research papers or scholarly articles, which is available to the reader via a computer. The journal may also exist in printed format or may only be available electronically. Access may be variously referred to as 'online', 'electronic', 'via computer', 'on the internet', 'on the web'. We only include, on Connect to E-journals @ Aber, journals that provide the full text of the articles online, as opposed to others that only give the table of contents and/or abstracts

Objectives.This workbook is intended as an introduction to using electronic journals available through Information Services. By completing this workbook, you will be able to:

  • Access E-journals @ Aber
  • Find an electronic journal by title
  • Identify and access electronic journals in subject areas
  • Search through collections of electronic journals
  • Download/print articles from electronic journals

Content. As well as a step-by-step guide, this workbook contains exercises intended to encourage effective use of electronic journals.

This icon is used to show helpful information and/or hints

 This icon is used to indicate additional exercises which can be worked through at your leisure if you need further practice in an area.

Accessing the Electronic Journals web pages - E-journals @ Aber E-journals @ Aber is available via:

N.B If you are using an AU computer provided in one of the computer rooms on campus, there are icons on the 'desktop' linking to these.

Useful URLs:

Aberystwyth University website http://www.aber.ac.uk/
Information Services website http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/
Primo http://primo.aber.ac.uk
ElecInfo http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/elecinfo
E-journals @ Aber http://primo.aber.ac.uk/
  1. From ElecInfo, click on "E-journals @ Aber"
  2. This will take you to the Electronic Journals web pages: "E-journals @ Aber".
  3. From this page you can:
    • Search by individual journal title or by word in journal title
    • Browse through an A-Z listing of all journal titles by letter
    • Access a list of electronic journals by subject 'Category' area
    • Search by electronic journal service provider 'Vendor' or ISSN
    • NOTE you CANNOT use E-journals @ Aber, directly, to search for articles on a particular topic - use Primo for this.


Finding an electronic journal by title

If you have a reference to a specific journal, there are various different ways of finding out if this journal is available in the library and/or accessible electronically.

  1. Searching via Primo
  2. Searching via the Electronic Journals web page


Searching via Primo

To access a copy of the article from the following reference:
Anthony Barker, Graham K. Wilson "Whitehall's Disobedient Servants? Senior Officials' Potential Resistance to Ministers in British Government Departments", British Journal of Political Science, 27(2) (Apr. 1997), pp. 223-246.

  1. Open Primo http://primo.aber.ac.uk and select search.
  2. Type the journal title British Journal of Political Science in the search box; specify Aberystwyth University in the right-hand box and click Search. The library holdings for this journal will display, as below:
  3. To access the electronic version, click on 'View Online'. This will then display the various service providers/vendors that give us access to the full text of the years/volumes indicated.
     Note the 'Authentication' information beneath each link, which provides details on passwords needed for on and off-campus use for each different service provider. Most use on-campus, or using VPN, does not require a password.
  5. To search for the 1997 reference above, you could choose any of the above providers. For this exercise, click on Electronic full text available via SwetsWise
  6. A list of available years should be visible on screen. Select 1997 and select the Table of Contents button to the right of Volume 27, Issue 2 to view a list of all articles from that issue.
  7. Scroll down to the article you wish to view. If an abstract is available, you can view it by clicking on abstract under your chosen title. To view the full article, click on full text. Your chosen article will open in a new window in the Acrobat viewer (PDF format). At this point, you can choose to view on screen, save to disk or print out using the Acrobat tool bar above the article.
    Please note that to print the article you must click the "Print icon"   on the Acrobat viewer toolbar. Using File-Print on Browser toolbar may not work.
  8. Return to the E-journals @ Aber home page.


Searching via E-journals @ Aber

To access a copy of the article from the following reference:
Anthony Barker, Graham K. Wilson "Whitehall's Disobedient Servants? Senior Officials' Potential Resistance to Ministers in British Government Departments”, British Journal of Political Science, 27(2) (Apr. 1997), pp. 223-246.

  1. Access the E-journals @ Aber web page (http://primo.aber.ac.uk/) and find the British Journal of Political Scienceby:
    • Entering the full title or beginning of the title into the title box or,
    • Entering any word from the title in the title box BUT ensure that you have clicked on the radio button for 'Contains' or, 
    • Searching by 'B' from the A-Z list and scrolling down to the title in the list.
    • Searching via 'Category' Social Sciences and then Subcategory: Political Science.
  2. This time, click on Electronic full text available via Cambridge University Press Journals Complete as the provider.
  3. Scroll down to see the 'Available volumes' and click on 'Back Volumes' to display all available volumes and issues. Select Volume 27 and Issue 2 to view a list of all articles from that issue.
  4. Scroll down to the article you wish to view. To view the abstract, click on [abstract]. To view the full article, click on [PDF]. Your chosen article will open in a new window in the Acrobat viewer (PDF format). At this point, you can choose to view on screen, save, e-mail or print using the Acrobat tool bar above the article.

Try to find these other full-text articles via E-journals @ Aber or via the Library Catalogue, using the above instructions as a guide. For each reference try to answer the following questions:

  • What print copies are available in the library?
  • How many years does the electronic archive cover?
  • Is the journal available off-campus via each provider?
  1. Shimizu H., Sandler T., "Peacekeeping and burden-sharing, 1994-2000" Journal of Peace Research, Nov 2002, Vol.39, No.6, pp.651-668.
  2. Bowler S., Donovan T., "Do voters have a cue? Television advertisements as a source of information in citizen-initiated referendum campaigns", European Journal of Political Research, Oct 2002, Vol.41, No.6, pp.777-793
  3. Richard Torrance, "Literacy and Modern Literature in the Izumo Region, 1880-1930", Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2. (Summer, 1996), pp. 327-362
Journal TitlePrint years availableElectronic years availableOff-campus available for each provider?


Identifying and accessing electronic journals in subject areas

  1. Return to E-journals @ Aber page via your saved bookmark. Select 'Category' then choose a subcategory to display the Electronic Journals in your chosen subject.
    Note that you may need to explore more than one category and/or subcategory to find all the journals of interest to you. We have also provided a (clickable) linear listing of all the categories and subcategories to enable you to view them more easily.
    Note that Primo also displays the categories assigned to a particular E-journal and enables you to click through to find other titles in that category.
  2. For this exercise, choose Arts and Humanities: Performing Arts, Travel and Leisure and scroll down to the journal Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television.
  3. Choose Electronic full text available via Informaworld Journals as your service provider.
  4. Navigate to Volume 19 Issue 1 and mark the third article "The Pre-history of Pay Cable Television: an overview and analysis".
    During your search in Informaworld, you can keep a list of any articles that are of relevance to your research, by choosing the Mark option, and then save these references into, for example, EndNote.
    • tick the box to the left of the article(s) to select.
    • click 'Add to marked list' in the drop-down box labelled 'Selected' located at the top right above the list of articles) and then 'Go'
    You will see, just above the article list:

    1 item added to marked list: My Marked List [ view marked lists ]
    note: please register and/or sign in to save your marked lists between sessions

    • click on 'view marked lists'
    • click the box to the left of the article to mark again
    • From the 'Selected' menu on right, choose 'download citation' and 'Go'
    • Then select your desired options. Note that these options only relate to the citation/reference NOT the full text of the article.
      Please note that once you have left your Informaworld session, you will lose your Marked List, unless you set up a personal registration account with Informaworld; note this is a personal account between you and Informaworld and does not have any links with the University - do NOT use your AU login/username or password.
  5. To e-mail a PDF copy of the full-text of an article to yourself, choose the PDF button under the title of the article you wish to obtain. This can be from within your marked list - click on the article title - or by browsing available articles in the journal by volume/issue. Once the full text article has loaded in the Acrobat reader select the e-mail / file send / attach to email option on the Adobe toolbar/browser menus.


  1. Go back to E-journals @ Aber and look at other electronic journals in your subject/research area. Practice using journals via different service providers so that you get a feel for the variation in layout and search tools between providers.
  2. Try to choose a journal via JSTOR and, in conjunction with the Help in JSTOR, practise viewing the full-text of an article and explore the different ways of downloading an article. Titles are available in their complete runs (i.e. from the date of the first issue) as an archive up to four or five years before the current issues in most cases.


Searching for journal articles in your subject

There are 3 main ways of finding relevant research articles on your topic of study:
Using Primo - our new tool which enables easy searching across several sources at once

  • Primo allows you to run one search using a list of databases and indexes grouped into broad subject areas. The list of results of your search will then link to the full text of the articles, where available.
  • First 'Sign in' using your usual AU login and password, then use the search box, following the instructions in this

Using indexing/abstracting databases directly (also available via Primo above)

  • Online bibliographic databases, such as Web of Knowledge (covers all subjects not just Science), International Bibliography of Social Sciences or OCLC, give references (citations) and sometimes abstracts (summaries) to journal articles (as well as books, conference papers, and other types of material). These may or may not be held at AU (this depends which journal titles AU has subscribed to).
  • A successful search of your chosen topic in one of these databases will give a list of references to articles, books and conference papers and sometimes to the full-text.
  • To read the full text of each, it is then necessary to follow the @Aber links to check whether the journal referred to is available electronically, or in print either in the AU libraries or the National Library of Wales.
  • To access a list of online bibliographic databases in your subject, go to the ElecInfo gateway (http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/elecinfo) and follow the link to Subject information and links.
  • Help guides for each online bibliographic database are available via the button on the ElecInfo A to Z (http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/elecinfo/eiaz/)

Searching through Electronic Journal Collections

  • As well as being able to search/browse through a known journal via E-journals @ Aber, most major electronic journal providers also make their entire collection of titles available for searching.
  • For example, a search through ScienceDirect's entire journal collection will bring up references to articles in those journals.
  • As AU does not subscribe to all electronic journals available via all service providers, you will only be able to access the full-text of those journals subscribed to by AU. (You can check these via E-journals @ Aber or Primo)

  1. Go back to E-journals @ Aber and select Locate.
  2. In the Vendor box, choose Elsevier ScienceDirect (leave title box blank) and press Search, to be taken to a list of all full-text electronic journals available via ScienceDirect.
  3. Choose any of the journal titles from the list and click Electronic full text available via Elsevier SD Freedom Collection.
  4. Then use the Advanced Search facilities at the top of the page to search through ScienceDirect's entire collection of electronic journal articles.

  1. Go back to E-journals @ Aber and choose any journal via JSTOR. (To get a list of all electronic journals via a provider, choose Locate).
  2. Having accessed the journal, choose Search from the top left of the page then select Advanced Search to be taken to the search form for all JSTOR electronic journals.
  3. Enter a search, making sure to choose individual or groups of journals from the list below.


How to find help and advice

E-journal Frequently Asked Questions

Contact IS:

Telephone: 01970 62 2400
E-mail: is@aber.ac.uk
WWW: Contacting IS

Subject Contacts:

Ask at a help desk or check the subject support staff list

Further help and documentation: