Skip to Main Content

Housing: Academic Resources

Books and E-books - The Library Catalogue, E-book platforms, study skills

Journals - The Discovery Service, subject databases, individual journal titles

Theses, Statistics and Grey Literature - including Statista, UK Government data, and conference proceedings

Searching effectively - help on building a search strategy

Types of academic sources


A journal publishes a few issues per year.  Each issue contains a number of academic articles written by experts in a particular field.   Articles in journal articles in most cases:

  • are written by and for academics, researchers, or other experts in a field

  • are generally original research or literature reviews

  • use scholarly or technical language

  • include a full bibliography of sources cited in the article

  • are often peer reviewed (refereed)


There are many occasions on which reading articles from magazines can help to introduce you to a topic and introduce you to how that topic is being discussed in society.  Articles in magazines, in most cases:

  • are written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience

  • written in a language that is easy to understand by the general public

  • rarely have a bibliography - rather, they are fact-checked through the editorial process of the publication they appear in

  • don't assume prior knowledge of a subject area - for this reason, they are often very helpful to read if you don't know a lot about your subject area yet

  • may contain an argument, opinion, or analysis of an issue

Trade publications

Trade publications are generally for practitioners.  They are focused on a specific field but are not intended to be "scholarly".  Rather, they communicated the news and trends in that field.  Articles in trade publications, in most cases:

  • are written by practitioners in a field (nurses, teachers, social workers, etc)

  • use the language (and jargon) of the field


Many academic books will be edited by an expert or group of experts.  Often, books are a good source for a thorough investigation of a topic. Unlike a scholarly article, which will usually focus on the results of one research project, a book is likely to include an overview of research or issues related to its topic. 

Conference proceedings

Conference proceedings are compilations of papers, research, and information presented at conferences. Proceedings are sometimes peer-reviewed and are often the first publication of research that later appears in a scholarly publication (see above!).  

Theses and Dissertations

Theses and dissertations are the result of an individual student's research.  They are written under the guidance and review of an academic committee but are not considered "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" publications.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

To access articles in Google scholar at home you can add in the library's subscriptions:

  • Click Search above to open a new window
  • Go to the 3 bar icon in the upper left corner
  • Select the cog wheel to open Settings
  • Select Library links from the left hand column
  • Search for London South Bank University - Full-Text @ LSBU
  • Tick the box to add our collections in to the search

You computer will remember this choice until you clear your cookies/cache. You do not need to do this step if you are on campus.