Skip to Main Content

Using Periodicals

What is a periodical?

A periodical is a publication that is published at regular intervals. Periodicals may include scholarly journals, professional or trade magazines, popular magazines, and newspapers.

The Pratt Institute Libraries has periodicals in both electronic and print formats. This guide will help you locate periodicals and articles in the Pratt’s collections.

Useful Terms

Peer review -  A peer-reviewed journal requires that each article is critically evaluated by an independent body of scholarly experts or peers before publication. The goal of peer review is to ensure the quality and accuracy of published content. 

Abstract -  An abstract is a paragraph long summary of a longer work, such as an article. When researching using periodicals, you can determine if an article is relevant to your research by reading the abstract on the first page.

DOI -  DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string used to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location online. The publisher assigns a DOI when an article is published electronically.

ISSN -  ISSN stands for International Standard Serial Number. An ISSN is a unique identification number given to a serial publication. You can search for periodicals by ISSN (or books by their equivalent, ISBN) in the Pratt catalog.

Open Access -  When content is published Open Access it means that it does not require a subscription or fee to view. Open Access content is freely and publicly accessible. A directory of all Open Access journals is available at

How to browse issues of a specific periodical

Use the journals search on the library's homepage to search across the library's electronic and print collections.

The results page will show you all of the places where that journal can be viewed. It will also specify the coverage (date range) for each database.

How to find an article based on a citation

You may need to find an article based only on a citation. Citations come in several formats, but they should all have the basic information needed to locate a specific article. For example, an MLA citation for an academic journal article will take this form: Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages.

Use the journals search on the library's homepage to search the title of the journal.The results page will show you all of the places where that journal can be viewed. It will also specify the coverage (date range) for each database.

If a database covers the date of the citation, click through to enter the database. Use to citation's date, volume, and issue information to find the article or simply search the title of the article in the database.

If the article is only available in the Pratt Institute Print Periodicals, use the citation information to locate the article in a bound periodical.


Requesting an article through Interlibrary Loan

If an article is not available at the Pratt Institute Libraries, you can request it via Interlibrary Loan. On the request form, select "Article" for Material Type, then fill in all of the information from your citation. A PDF of your requested article will be emailed to you within 3-7 business days.

For more information about Interlibrary Loan visit the FAQ page.

  Report a Problem with this Page