THE RESEARCH PROCESS: Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature
(Print this page out to serve as a worksheet)

The Readers' Guide is an index to about 250 general interest magazines.
The main part of the Index consists of subject and author entries to periodical articles arranged in one alphabet. In addition there is a listing of citiations to book reviews following the main body of the Index. All the examples in the following guide are from the September 2000 issue of the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature (Unabridged).

Using the Readers' Guide

I.    Choose the volume for the year you want to search.

  • The Readers' Guide is a cumulative index. A new issue comes out every two weeks, at the end of each quarter the issues are cumulated (put together in one volume). At the end of each year the quarterly issues are cumulated.
  • So for the most current articles you need to consult the paperback issues--for older articles use the particular volume for the year you are researching.
  • The most recent five volumes and the current paper issues are kept on the Index Table in the reference room of the library. Older volumes are found on the reference shelves at REF 050 REA. The library has volumes from March 1967 to the present.

  • II.    Look up the subject you are interested in researching.
    Although you can search under the author's name, most often you will be looking for articles on a subject.
    Pay attention to cross-references. Cross-references are notes that refer you from subject headings that are not used to those which are used (See references), as well as from one subject heading to related subject headings (See also references)

    See references (Where to locate articles) See also references (Where to locate more articles)
    CANAPES See Appetizers
    EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE RELATIONS See Industrial  psychology; Personnel management
    LITE COOKING See Low calorie cooking
    NERVE GASES See Chemical and biological weapons
              See also
         Small business
              See also
         Energy policy
    These examples are explained by the following:
    See references
  • For articles about canapes, look in the list of subjects under APPETIZERS
  • For articles about employer-employee relations, look in the list of subject under "INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY" and/or PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
  • For articles about lite cooking, look under LOW CALORIE COOKING
  • For articles about nerve gases, look under CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS

  • See also references
  • For more articles about capitalism, look under SMALL BUSINESS as well
  • For more articles about energy conservation, look under ENERGY POLICY and/or HEATING

  • Don't be confused by the fact that sometimes there are no articles listed under a See also reference. These are headings which are used if there are articles. The See references are never used as headings pointing to articles.

    Centered headings
    You'll notice that subject headings are further subdivided using centered headings. These are divisions of the main topic. These divisions may be general or geographical. The topical divisions are aways listed first, in alphabetical order. The geographical divisions follow, also in alphabetical order. Each of these subdivisions may have its own articles or cross references just as the main heading has. Note, in the following example that International aspects, a general subdivision comes before all the geographical subdivisions and that the geographical divisions are in alphabetical order.

    International aspects
    New York (State)
    New York metropolitan area

    III.    A typical Readers' Guide entry:

         Wanna neck? [hairstyles that reveal the nape of the neck] A. Schwartz. il Mademoiselle v106 no8 p170-1 Ag 2000

    In this case "Neck" is the subject of the article. "Wanna neck? is the title. The note: [hairstyles that reveal the nape of the neck] explains what the article is about since it's not obvious from the title. The author is A. Schwartz. If you looked up the author's name under SCHWARTZ, you would find out her first name is Allison. The abbreviation "il" tells you the article is illustrated. The name of the magazine, Mademoiselle, is in italics. the next two abbreviations tell what volume and number the particular issue is. This is useful when looking for bound volumes of magazines and is sometimes required in a citation note. The page the article os found on in the magazine is indicated as p170-1 which means the article starts on page 170 and ends on the next page. And finally, the date of the magazine is indicated. In this case the August 2000 issue.

    IV.    Check to see whether the library has the magazine

    The library does not subscribe to all the periodicals indexed in the Readers' Guide so you will need to check the list kept by the indexes or online to find out whether the particular magazine you need is available.
    Magazines are kept in the small room off the reference room. They are arranged alphbetically by title. You are free to browse the entire collection.

    V.    Magazine check out procedure

    Magazines can be checked out for three days. Bring the magazine to the circulation desk and fill out a small slip of paper with your name, your homeroom teacher's name, the name of the magazine you are checking out as well as the date of each magazine. The magazine will be placed in a plastic envelope for safety. Please be careful with magazines. They are fragile.

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