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Indexes are print publications
that provide citations (publication information) for articles
published in periodicals within specific time periods. Periodical
indexes may also show citations for parts of books, book reviews,
pamphlets, conference proceedings, dissertations, and government
Some periodical indexes are general and cover many subjects, while
others are subject specific. For example, Reader's Guide to Periodical
Literature and Poole's Index to Periodical Literature are
general indexes. Business Periodicals Index and Applied
Science & Technology Index are examples of subject-specific indexes.
TO USE PERIODICAL INDEXES
Locating older material (before the 1990s) usually requires the use
of print indexes because most library databases do not include material
prior to the mid-1980s or early 1990s. However, some databases do
provide earlier materials, as explained in the "Databases"
section later in this unit.
TO USE PERIODICAL INDEXES
Each periodical index will have an introduction/preface that explains
how the entries are arranged, usage techniques, and what information
the entries contain. Reading the introduction for the periodical index
you are using will help you use it efficiently, get better results,
and save time because entries in different periodical indexes will
not look the same and may not give the same types of information.
Citations in indexes are arranged by subject and then by subsets of
the subject underneath headings. Once relevant headings are located,
look beneath them to read the citations, which usually contain the
title & author,
title in which the article appears,
issue, and date of the periodical, and
numbers for the article.
The citations may also indicate if the article is illustrated or has
a bibliography, as well as supply added notes to clarify the article's
title and purpose.
Example Citation: To illustrate what a citation looks
like, the following example was taken from the August 1992-July 1993
Business Periodicals Index:
out the time gobblers [employees and visitors dropping in]
R. Alexander. Superv Manage 38:8 Mr '93.
of this citation provide the following information:
out the time gobblers"
and visitors dropping in]
Indicates who the "time gobblers" are.
Often periodical titles are abbreviated in the citations.
If so, the index will have a key that lists the abbreviations
and the corresponding full titles. In this case, the full
title is Supervisory Management.
Gives the periodical's volume number, the article's page number(s),
and the publication date. If the date is abbreviated, the
index will have a key that shows what the abbreviations mean.
step would be to locate the March 1993 issue of Supervisory Management
(either in the print collection or the online databases), find page
8, and read the article. How to locate articles using citation information
is explained later in this unit.
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