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English Studies [Old]

Library Guide for English Studies


Academic journals play a crucial role in English Literature, providing a platform for scholars, researchers, and academics to share their original research, theories, and analysis. These journals are dedicated to maintaining the highest quality, credibility, and scholarly accuracy standards. Peer-reviewed and focused on specific areas of literature, academic journals are a valuable resource for staying updated with the latest research, accessing authoritative information, and participating in academic discourse. This section will explore the key characteristics, importance, and structure of academic journals in English Literature.

  • Academic journals contain scholarly articles written by researchers, experts, and academics in various fields, including English Literature.
  • These journals serve as a platform for disseminating original research, theories, analysis, and findings to the academic community and the general public interested in a particular field or discipline.
  • Unlike popular magazines or newspapers, academic journals are designed to meet rigorous standards of quality, credibility, and scholarly accuracy.
  • Academic journals in English Literature are typically peer-reviewed, meaning that the articles undergo a thorough evaluation process by experts in the field before they are published.
  • Peer review ensures that the articles meet the highest standards of academic integrity and accuracy and contribute to the existing body of knowledge meaningfully.
  • Academic journals often have a specific focus or specialization, such as literature from a particular period, genre, or literary theory.
  • They publish articles ranging from literary analysis of specific texts to broader theoretical and critical discussions in English Literature.
  • Academic journals in English Literature usually follow a structured format, including sections such as introduction, methodology, literature review, analysis, discussion, and conclusion.
  • The articles published in academic journals are typically based on primary research, which involves collecting, analyzing, and interpreting literary texts, critical theories, historical documents, or other relevant sources.
  • These journals also provide a platform for researchers to share and debate their ideas, theories, and methodologies with the wider academic community, fostering academic dialogue and intellectual exchange.
  • Academic journals in English Literature often include citations and references to other scholarly works, allowing readers to explore and verify the sources of information and build upon existing literary knowledge.
  • Researchers, students, and professionals in English Literature rely on academic journals as valuable resources for keeping up with the most current research, accessing authoritative information, and staying informed about the latest developments in the field.
  • Many academic journals are available in print and electronic formats, offering convenient access to scholarly articles through university libraries, online databases, and journal publishers' websites.

Accredited Journals

Accredited Journals are research outputs recognized for their credibility, trustworthiness, and alignment with the criterion standards of the Department of Higher Education (DoHET). They qualify for a subsidy from the DoHET and are considered for NRF evaluation.

Definition of Accredited Journals:

According to the Department of Education, accredited/approved journals are peer-reviewed periodic publications focusing on disseminating original research and new developments within specific disciplines, sub-disciplines, or fields of study. These include original articles, research letters, papers, and review articles. However, only approved journals are eligible for subsidies.

Academic Articles in English Literature: A Guide for Undergraduate Students

  • Academic or peer-reviewed articles are written by experts, academics, or researchers in the field of English Literature.
  • These articles undergo a strict evaluation process by experts in English Literature before publication, ensuring high quality and reliable information.
  • Academic articles in English Literature have a standardized structure that includes sections like abstract, introduction, methodology, literary analysis, discussion, and conclusion, making it easy to navigate and understand the content.
  • They are based on primary research, which involves analyzing literary texts, critical theories, or exploring new ideas and concepts in English Literature.
  • Academic articles in English Literature include citations and references to literary texts, critical works, and other scholarly sources, allowing readers to trace information and build upon existing knowledge.
  • The authors of these articles are usually affiliated with universities or research institutions, showcasing their credibility and expertise.
  • Academic articles in English Literature are valuable resources for researchers, students, and professionals, providing current, authoritative, and peer-reviewed information on literary texts, critical approaches, and literary analysis.
  • Electronic journals, also known as online journals or e-journals, offer access to a wide range of academic articles in English Literature.

Recommended Electronic Journals in English Literature:

  1. PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association of America): A prestigious journal publishing scholarly articles on literature and language.
  2. Modern Fiction Studies: Specializes in modern and contemporary literature, including critical theories and literary analysis.
  3. Shakespeare Quarterly: Focuses on Shakespearean literature, plays, and adaptations.
  4. Victorian Literature and Culture: Dedicated to studying literature and culture of the Victorian era.
  5. The Cambridge Quarterly: Covers a variety of topics in English Literature, including literary theory, criticism, and cultural studies.
  6. Narrative: Publishes articles on narrative theory, narratology, and the study of narrative in literature.
  7. Romanticism: Explores Romantic literature, poetry, and themes.

Remember to consult your university library or online databases to access these journals and explore more specific journals related to your study of English Literature.

Open-access journals have recently gained popularity, revolutionizing the traditional academic publishing model. Open-access publications are vital in promoting research visibility, knowledge sharing, and inclusivity in academia, facilitating collaboration and innovation.

These journals provide unrestricted access to the full text of research articles, enabling anyone, anywhere, to read, download, distribute, and reuse scholarly content without any financial barriers.

Open-access journals are characterized by their commitment to making knowledge freely available, fostering collaboration, and accelerating the pace of scientific discovery.

In English Literature studies, several open-access journals have emerged, embracing the principles of accessibility and promoting the dissemination of research. Examples of prominent open-access journals in English Literature include:

  1. "Digital Scholarship in the Humanities": Published by the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, this journal focuses on digital humanities research, scholarship, and practice, exploring the intersection of technology and literature.

  2. "The Journal of Literature and Science": This journal examines the interdisciplinary study of literature and science, providing a platform for exploring the cultural, historical, and ethical aspects of scientific progress through literary analysis.

  3. "Victorian Review": Focusing on the Victorian era, this journal publishes scholarly articles on various aspects of Victorian literature, culture, society, and history, offering valuable insights into this influential period in English Literature.

  4. "Romanticism": This interdisciplinary journal explores Romantic period literature, art, and culture, examining the works of prominent Romantic writers and their contributions to the development of English Literature.

Below are examples of the numerous open-access journals in English Literature studies.

Print Journals

Print journals refer to publications that are physically printed on paper and distributed in libraries, research institutions, and other relevant facilities. These journals contain scholarly articles, research findings, reviews, and additional valuable information within specific fields of study. However, there has been a gradual shift from print journals to digital formats in recent years. This section explores the nature of print journals and why libraries are moving away from their reliance on them.


  1. Format: Print journals are typically produced in a physical, paper-based form. They consist of individual issues periodically published, often monthly, quarterly, or annual.

  2. Availability: Libraries and academic institutions generally house collections of print journals. These collections are organized and accessible to readers within designated areas such as the Periodical Reading Room.

  3. Organization: Print journals are arranged systematically within library collections. In the case of the older issues, they are usually bound into volumes and stored separately on a different level, categorized alphabetically by title.

  4. In-Library Use: Print journals are generally not allowed to be removed from the library due to their reference and archival nature. However, library facilities often provide photocopiers or scanning equipment for readers to make copies of specific articles or pages they require.

Towards Digital Formats

The shift away from print journals in libraries can be attributed to several factors:

  1. Access and Availability: Digital journals offer convenient access to a broader range of scholarly information. Online databases and electronic resources provide instant access to a vast collection of journals, allowing researchers to search, browse, and retrieve articles from anywhere at any time.

  2. Cost and Space Considerations: Maintaining extensive print journal collections requires substantial physical storage space and ongoing procurement, maintenance, and preservation expenses. Transitioning to digital formats reduces the need for physical storage and can potentially lower costs of managing print collections.

  3. Enhanced Searchability and Navigation: Digital journals offer advanced search features, enabling researchers to quickly locate relevant articles, perform keyword searches, and access specific content within articles. Additionally, digital formats often include hyperlinks, multimedia elements, and interactive features that enhance the reading experience.

  4. Timeliness and Updates: Digital journals can be updated more frequently than print journals, enabling researchers to access the most recent research and discoveries in their respective fields. Online platforms often provide alerts and notifications of new publications, keeping researchers informed and up to date.

  5. Environmental Sustainability: Moving away from print journals aligns with sustainability initiatives. By reducing the consumption of paper and energy used in printing, digital formats contribute to a more environmentally friendly approach to accessing and disseminating scholarly information.

Print Journals at UWC

Location and Organisation

  • Current printed journals are kept in the Periodical Reading Room on Level 5.

  • Older issues are bound and kept on Level 8 - English.

  • Journals are shelved alphabetically by title.

Access and Usage

  • Journals may not be removed from the library; they are for in-library use only.

  • Photocopiers are available in the library for making copies of specific articles or pages.

Seeking Assistance

  • If you need help with locating or accessing specific print journals, please ask a librarian for assistance. They will be able to guide you and provide further support.

Electronic Journals: An Overview

Electronic journals, also known as e-journals or online journals, are digital versions of scholarly publications that are accessible through electronic platforms. Unlike print journals, electronic journals are published and distributed exclusively in digital format, providing numerous advantages in terms of accessibility, searchability, and flexibility. This section explores the characteristics of electronic journals and highlights the benefits they offer to researchers and readers.

Characteristics of Electronic Journals

  1. Digital Format: Electronic journals are published and made available exclusively in digital format. They do not have a physical printed counterpart, and their content is presented electronically, either through dedicated journal platforms or online databases.

  2. Online Accessibility: Electronic journals can be accessed remotely through the internet from anywhere in the world, providing instant access to a vast collection of scholarly literature. Users can access these journals through subscription-based platforms, open-access repositories, or institutional databases.

  3. Search and Navigation: Electronic journals offer advanced search and navigation capabilities. Users can search for specific articles or topics, browse through tables of contents, and navigate through articles using hyperlinks or a digital table of contents. This searchability enhances researchers' ability to find relevant information efficiently.

  4. Multimedia Enhancements: Electronic journals often include multimedia enhancements, such as video abstracts, interactive figures, audiovisual content, or supplementary materials. These features provide a more immersive and comprehensive reading experience.

  5. Cross-Referencing and Citations: Electronic journals often allow for easy cross-referencing within the journal's content and external linking to related publications. This facilitates the exploration of additional resources and supports the citation and referencing process.

  6. Timeliness and Updates: Electronic journals can be updated rapidly, allowing researchers to access the latest research and developments in their fields. Online publishing allows for more frequent releases and ensures that the most up-to-date content is readily available to readers.

  7. Online Collaboration and Discussion: Some electronic journals incorporate interactive features that facilitate collaboration and discussion among researchers. Users may have the ability to comment on articles, engage in discussions, or share their insights, promoting a dynamic scholarly community.

  8. Archiving and Preservation: Electronic journals often implement archiving and preservation strategies to ensure long-term access to their content. Digital preservation measures include the use of persistent identifiers, backup systems, and archiving initiatives by libraries and repositories.

Advantages of Electronic Journals

The increasing popularity of electronic journals stems from the numerous advantages they offer:

  1. 24/7 Access: Electronic journals are accessible at any time and from anywhere with an internet connection, providing researchers with maximum flexibility and convenience.

  2. Expanded Availability: Digital formats eliminate constraints related to physical copies or limited print runs, making electronic journals more widely available to researchers and readers worldwide.

  3. Cost Efficiency: Compared to print journals, electronic journals often have lower subscription costs or may be freely available through open-access platforms, reducing the financial burden on individual researchers, institutions, and libraries.

  4. Environmentally Friendly: By eliminating the need for physical printing and distribution, electronic journals contribute to environmental sustainability by reducing paper waste and energy consumption.

  5. Enhanced Discovery and Access: Advanced search functionalities and indexing options in electronic journals enable researchers to quickly locate specific articles or explore content relevant to their research interests.

  6. Interdisciplinary Exploration: Electronic journals facilitate interdisciplinary research by providing access to a wide range of journals covering various fields, enabling researchers to explore diverse perspectives and connect ideas across disciplines.

  7. Efficient Article Sharing: Digital formats make it easier to share journal articles with colleagues and collaborators through email, social media, or direct links, promoting knowledge dissemination and collaboration.

  8. Versioning and Corrections: Electronic journals can quickly correct errors or provide updated versions of articles, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the published content.


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