Finding journals in the library

This post explains what journals are, where they are located in Nuffield College Library and how to search for them on the catalogue, SOLO.

What are journals?Question mark image

Journals fall under the umbrella term ‘periodicals’, meaning that they are a continuing publication. Continuing publications have a predicted publication schedule. The frequency at which they are published might be annual, once a month, or even every day. Journals tend to have chronology and enumeration, for instance volume 1, number 1 (January 2014).

Which journals does Nuffield College Library have?

The journals that Nuffield College Library collects cover the principal subject areas of the college, namely economics, politics, and sociology. Electronic journal coverage is provided by the Bodleian Libraries as part of University-wide provision.

Where are journals located in Nuffield College Library?Magnifying glass image

The most recent issues of journals that the library receives are on the 1st floor of the library in the Small Reading Room and are organised alphabetically by title. These are periodically moved up to the 2nd floor of the library where, again, they are organised alphabetically by title. Titles A-M are in the main reading room on the 2nd floor and titles N-Z in the tower and Cole Room. The library’s interactive map will help you to understand the floor plan. Pre-1980 journals are located separately to the main library collection in the extension.

The library’s journals all have a shelf mark beginning with ‘Per’ for ‘periodical’, followed by a letter for the title. The journal West European politics, for example, has the shelf mark Per W.

Some of the journals that the library receives are slightly larger in size and are kept in a separate sequence. This sequence starts at the end of the ‘normal-sized’ journal collection and is identifiable by its shelf mark. All of the larger journals’ shelf marks are prefixed with  a ‘q’ for quarto.

Shelf labels

NB. Some of the most popular journals are kept on a magazine rack in the library’s Current Affairs Room, which is on the 1st floor. Titles here include the Economist, Spectator, New Statesman, and Nouvel Observateur.

How do I find journals on the library catalogue?SOLO

The library’s journals can be searched for on the online catalogue SOLO. If known, the title of the journal can be typed into the catalogue’s search bar, otherwise a keyword search will locate journals of interest in your subject area. It is possible to limit the search to include only journals (i.e. excluding textbooks, theses, and other material) by choosing ‘Journals’ from the drop down menu before hitting the search button, as shown in the image below.

SOLO journals screen shot


Journals in the results list on the catalogue are identifiable by the icon next to the title, which says ‘journal’, shown in the image below.

SOLO journals results screen shot


To find out whether the journal is available, click ‘Find & Request’. Nuffield College Library will be listed if the journal is held here. Clicking on the ‘+’ button next to Nuffield College Library will expand the results screen giving further details including the shelf mark, which,  in the image below, is Per W.

SOLO shelf mark screen shot


Electronic journals can be found under the ‘Find e-Journal’ tab of OxLIP+, which provides access to databases, electronic reference works, e-Journals and eBooks.

Bound journals

A number of the library’s journal titles are bound. This means that, rather than have lots of issues on the shelf with the potential for getting misshelved or lost, journals issues are sent off to be bound together into one volume. This gives the journals a uniform appearance and protects the issues inside a tough cover. An example of bound titles can be seen below.

Binding image for blog

The bound item tends to reflect one volume of a journal. The spine might read ‘v. 17’, which means that it contains volume 17 of the journal title, and all of the issues within volume 17. If the journal issues are really thick, though, the volume might get split over two bound items, for example, the first item might have volume 17, issues 1-6 and the second would be volume 17, issues 7-12.

Where can I find help with journals?

Hopefully this guide will help you understand the library’s journal collection. If you have any questions, though, then contact the periodicals librarian: or phone 01865 278550.



About Nuffield College Library

We are a social sciences library serving Nuffield College and the University of Oxford
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