Volume & Issue Numbers Demystified

"What is a periodical?" video from Touro Libraries' forthcoming Savvy Researcher Video Series
What is a periodical?” video from Touro Libraries’ Savvy Researcher Video Series

If you’ve done research papers in the past, you’ve probably had at least one professor ask you to cite something called an academic journal article (or three). But what exactly is it that your instructors are looking for?

Well, to answer that question, first we have to talk about what librarians call “periodical literature.” This is just a fancy collective name for magazines, newspapers, and journals which are published on a recurring, periodic basis, perhaps daily, weekly, or monthly. Individual issues of an academic journal are usually identified by volume and issue numbers. While you might browse through the September 2015 issue of Rolling Stone at the dentist, you’re more likely to find Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Vol. 122, Issue 3, on the shelves of your college library.

All of the different numbers in journal article citations can be a little tricky to keep straight though, so let’s break it down another way. Think of your favorite TV show. Got it? Ok. So, I’m going to go with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In this case, the show had 7 yearly seasons of 22-ish episodes each. In terms of periodicals, that would be 7 yearly volumes of 22 issues each.

If my friend wanted to watch the silent episode of Buffy, I could direct him to season 4, episode 10. If I wanted to quote Patrick Shade’s scholarly analysis of the episode’s philosophical implications on communication theory in an essay, however, I would direct readers to Volume 6, Issue 1 of The Journal of the Whedon Studies Association in my citation.

On the topic of academic jargon, it’s worth mentioning that the opposite of a periodical in the library world is sometimes called a monograph — but in the rest of the world, we just call them books. To continue our analogy, books are more like movies. Sure, there might be a sequel or two – or new editions, in book terms – or it might be part of a series, but they are still essentially self-contained entities.

So now that you know that journal articles are identified by the journal they’re published in, and the particular volume and issue it appears in, hopefully, it will make them easier to identify and cite!

Visit the library homepage to choose a database to begin your search, or check out the Student Services page for more research help, like the difference between scholarly vs. popular periodicals.

Contributed by Chelsea DeGlopper, Former Instructional Design Librarian, Midtown

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Instructional Support Checklist

We've come a long way! Stay up-to-date on the latest educational services and technology available from Touro Libraries (CC0 image)
We’ve come a long way! Stay up-to-date on the latest educational services and technology available from Touro Libraries (CC0 image)

As we prepare for a new semester, we’d like to share the libraries’ many instructional support services available to Touro faculty. If you’d like assistance with something you don’t find on this list, don’t hesitate to ask! Continue reading

Embedded Librarians: Research Help On Demand

Traditional library instruction vs. Embedded library instruction
Traditional library instruction vs. Embedded library instruction

The Embedded Librarian program is a growing service offered by the Touro College Libraries. Like embedded journalists who travel straight to the heart of the action, embedded librarians meet students at the point of need during the learning process, wherever they are. Particularly helpful in online courses, a dedicated librarian is matched with each participating class to provide assistance at targeted points throughout the semester. Continue reading

Trust Me, I’m A Touro Librarian

trust meDon’t worry.  I’m not trying to get all up in your business, but I’ll have to ask you some probing questions.  You may find it a bit off-putting.  You may even be a little offended.  Perhaps you haven’t done this with anyone before.  There is a first time for everything, and darling, your time is now.  I will take care of you.  You have no reason to fear. Continue reading

Library Staff Profile: LCW Librarian Dr. David B. Levy

Wmns bldng skylight 2008 10 03 020 - CopyDavid B Levy, librarian at Lander College for Women, loves serving LCW students, whom he believes possess great derekh eretz (manners), middot tovot (character traits), and pleasantness. David cherishes Torah lishma (learning for its own sake), as described in the TC Philosophy of Education LibGuide. Continue reading

Interlibrary Loan

I am a library assistant at Touro College’s Midwood Campus. But I am also Touro’s coordinator of interlibrary loans. This service allows all Touro sites to share our resources and to exchange information with institutions outside the Touro College Library system. Even though the Midwood library has an extensive collection of books, periodicals, video tapes, CD-ROMs and DVDs there is always something we do not have. However, we can get almost anything if it is available to the public, and sometimes even if it is in a private collection. Continue reading

The TCL Time Machine: Touro’s First Library (Part 2 of 2)

Touro College quickly built a solid foundation after admitting its charter class of 35 students in 1971.  The first graduates received their diplomas in 1975, and the school continued to grow and flourish, slowly but surely.  The library was then manned by a staff of five, including Touro’s first Director of Libraries, Max Celnick, two assistant librarians, and two library aides.

spring 1976 Library Guide
A Guide to the Touro Library, 1976

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Searching: Google to Databases

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“Database Searching” is part of Touro Libraries’ new Savvy Researcher video series.
Watch above or get the low down on database searching below.

If Google can sometimes seem like a mind-reading magical genie, Databases are more like that persnickety substitute teacher who insists you ask “May I” instead of “Can I go to the restroom?” But don’t let that scare you away! Although databases might be a little bit more particular about how you enter your searches, once you become familiar with a few key features, you’ll be able to pull up dozens of relevant, credible, academic articles in far less time than it would take to sift through millions of questionable Google results.

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Library Research 101

Fast Track to Better Student Research

            The ability to perform research and incorporate the findings into an established base of knowledge to produce a written report is a foundational skill of higher education. Many students struggle with this task, understandably overwhelmed by the wealth of information made available by the Internet and other electronic resources, as well as the details of academic conventions. In an effort to help professors address the needs of these students, librarians have provided library instruction sessions, web resources, and individual assistance. Touro libraries are pleased to announce an additional tool now at our college’s disposal. We have recently created an independent information literacy and library skills tutorial available via Blackboard.

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