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Health Research Guide: Journals

A guide to help you getting started with your research for Nursing and Health Sciences.

Resource Type: Journals

There are two main types of journals you will be expected to use:

Professional journals

Professional journal contain case studies, practical advice, explanations of how new research, regulations and techniques will impact on the profession. e.g. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal.

Scholarly journals

Scholarly journals contain new theories and results of research studies, generally from university academics and specialist research institutes. Scholarly journals, sometimes called academic journals or periodicals, are generally peer reviewed. e.g. Contemporary Nurse and Journal of Nursing Education.


  • Many journals are peer reviewed, which means that the articles are checked by academics and other experts and therefore contain reliable information.
  • Include citations at the end, which might lead to additional resources.
  • More current information, due to shorter publication time.
  • Contain most current research.
  • Journals provide information on specific topics.


  • Journal articles generally don't provide an introduction to a subject area.
  • Journal articles generally don't provide a broad overview of a specific topic.

Is a journal peer reviewed or not?

If you are not sure if a journal is peer reviewed (refereed), access Ulrich’s Periodical Directory through the CDU Library databases. Type the journal title into the search box in Ulrich's Periodical Directory. If you see the refereed symbol next to the journal title, then it is peer reviewed

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