Finding articles in English
Finding articles in Japanese
Finding primary sources
In researching for essays and other academic assignment tasks, you will usually be looking for relevant information in academic sources. This section explains what an academic source is, and how to identify one, as well as the related concept of peer review.
The quality of a work of writing which seeks to clarify, explain and extend concepts belonging to the topic and discipline. An equivalent term is “scholarly”. Academic works include: journal articles, monographs, books of edited readings, conference papers, working papers and theses.
Your lecturers will often require that in assignments you use information from academic journal articles that are peer reviewed (an alternative term is “refereed”). Peer review is a formal quality control process whereby a scholarly article submitted to a journal is evaluated by several recognised experts in that discipline. These “referees” judge whether it makes a sufficient contribution to knowledge in the discipline and is of a sufficient standard to justify publication. Academic book manuscripts and many conference papers are also commonly peer reviewed.
Some journal databases may allow you to limit your search to just peer reviewed articles. If you are unsure whether a particular journal is peer-reviewed/refereed, check the database, Ulrichsweb.com or ask the Library.
Note: Depending on the discipline, there can be many published scholarly and academic journals and conference papers that are not peer-reviewed, often due to the typically lengthy process involved.
Articles from these publications, or with the following characteristics, are often NOT academic:
BUT, there are no absolute rules! Exercise critical judgement. It is often appropriate and necessary to also refer to non-academic publications in an assignment. Be guided by the set requirements for the particular assignment. If in doubt about the suitability of a particular article for an assignment task, ask your lecturer.
National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia's electronic licenced resource items can be accessed offsite by logging in with your National Library card details, and you can use these following Japanese databases. In order to access these databases, get a library card.
Japan Knowledge Plus NRK
Reference tool portal on Japan. It contains a wide variety of encyclopaedias and dictionaries, including both historical and contemporary sources. Dictionaries on languages.
Asahi Shimbun - Kikuzo II visual for libraries
A newspaper database for Asahi Shinbun, one of the major newspapers in Japan. It covers from the first issue in 1879 to the current issue. It also includes articles from the weekly magazines Aera, Shukan Asahi, and from the annual new-word encyclopaedia Chiezo for recent years.
A Japanese literary and historical journal published from 1895-1912 by Hakubunkan. Contains articles on Japanese performing arts, cultural history and literature. The site provides full text and images of all issues, and also searchable access (although not full text) to the journals 'Taiyo' and 'Daiichi koto gakko koyukai zasshi'.
Theses from Japan
Japanese Institutional Repositories Online (JAIRO), enables the search for theses among other document types across 84 institutional repositories in Japan.
Doctoral dissertation database (The University of Tokyo)
Japanese doctoral dissertation database (collected by Nagoya University)
Other theses databases
Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations various countries
Proquest Dissertations & Theses (US & Canadian theses)
The Library receives one copy of each doctoral and masters thesis accepted by Monash University. Theses are not available for loan, and generally only the microfiche copies are available for consultation.
To search for a specific thesis in the Library catalogue, type your keywords or author’s surname followed by 'monash thesis'.
The following factors are characteristic of academic articles, and especially those that are peer reviewed.
Abstract The first page of an academic article usually includes an abstract (summary)
Length They are usually substantial (eg at least 8 pages)
References Extensive reference to past research is a key feature of academic works. References are recorded in footnotes or in a reference list at the end of the article.
Author affiliations and qualifications Does the author hold a position in a university or a recognised research organisation relevant to the discipline? Author information, often including contact details, is usually included on the first or final page of an article. Often an article has more than one author. In a monograph of readings there may be a separate section with brief details on the contributors.
Appearance and format Academic articles are text based, and can include tables, figures and charts, but little other illustration or advertising. The body of the document is divided in to sections such as: Introduction; Literature Review; Methodology; Results; Discussion; Conclusion; References
Voice Academic works use the technical language of the particular discipline. The writer assumes some knowledge on the part of the reader.
Publisher Is the publisher an academic publishing house, university, research organisation, professional body or other recognised authority producing research?
Recommendation Is it a journal recommended by your lecturer, or included in the unit reading list?