Finding Electronic and Print Journals

The most commonly asked question of Graduate Center librarians concerns the availability of journals.  Finding answers to such questions should begin by using the Journals tab on the library site.

Journals tab

Here Graduate Center patrons can find information about 2,131 print, microfilm, and microfiche serials and have electronic access to 102,693 scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, and trade publications.


The default search is Title begins with.  Enter music and l, for example, and you will see this display:


This means that if you want an article from an issue before 2008, select the JSTOR link.  If you want an issue from 2008 through 2015, use the Oxford Journals Online  or Project Muse links.

Because these resources come from different companies, the displays will vary.  Usually, you will see a list of years or a range of years to choose from.  If you are uncertain about which issue contains the article you need, most resources will provide a Search within this publication option.  If your source is LexisNexis, you will be taken to a search screen for the publication, and you must enter search information such as keywords, author, article title, etc.


Journals may also be searched by ISSN or by keyword (Title contains all words) by using the dropdown menu above the search box.

When a journal is available in the library’s periodical collection, you will see a Graduate Center Print Holdings link to the journal’s record in the CUNY Catalog.  This record will provide the journal’s location in the periodical stacks, usually Shelved under title, and the available years.  When a publication is available on microfilm, the catalog record will provide a number, such as MIC-Per 85, where it can be found in the microfilm cabinets.


Some journals may be available in multiple formats.  Review of Black Political Economy, for example, is available from 1970 through 1993 in microfilm, 1993 through 2006 in print, and from 1990 to present in various databases.

Subject 2

After performing a search, you can use the Please select a subject category menu option to browse available titles by such subjects as Art, Architecture & Applied Arts, History & Archaeology, and Languages & Literatures.  Choosing Social Sciences, for example, will lead to a breakdown of titles in various components of anthropology, education, gender and ethnic studies, psychology, social welfare, and sociology.

The Graduate Center has access to thousands of open-access journals.  When a title is available from such a source, you will see some variation on free or open in the name of the source, or you will see (open access) after the source’s name, as in the following example:


For various reasons, the years of availability for open-access journals are only an approximation.  In the above example, if you need an issue of Europe’s Journal of Psychology from 2009 through 2015, it is best to try Academic Search Complete because it is a subscribed database.

Always look at a journal’s record carefully.  You will see that the text of Addiction Biology is available up to one year ago, because of publisher embargoes, from Academic Search Complete and Medline Complete.  Yet when you select the links to these databases, you see all 2014 and 2015 issues displayed, but only the tables of contents are available for the most recent twelve months.

Whenever the library does not have an article you need from any type of publication for any year or from any country, make an interlibrary-loan request.  You will often receive an scanned copy of the needed article within 48 hours.

If you need immediate access to a journal unavailable through the Graduate Center, check the CUNY Catalog to see if it is available at another CUNY library, check the New York Public Library, and check the catalogs of Columbia University and New York University.  If you have a MaRLI card, you have access to these libraries.  If not, you may obtain a Metro Referral Card at the Graduate Center reference desk. 

About the Author

Michael Adams has been a reference librarian at the CUNY Graduate Center since 1996.