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Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature: Journals

Subject support from Library Services for staff and students in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature.


Don't rely on Google or even Google Scholar! Findit@Bham is a great place to start looking for good quality journal articles but you will find out about an even bigger range of journals and articles if you use bibliographic databases.

Tips for accessing journals

It is important to remember that whenever you are accessing ejournals you need use the Sign in link at the top right of FindIt@Bham to enter your University username and password to ensure that you get full access to all the resources. This proves to the suppliers of these resources that you are entitled to use them.



Zetoc is a current awareness service created by the British Library and it gives access to over 29,000 journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers, from 1993 to present day. Zetoc is updated daily and it covers all subject areas.

Zetoc Alert

Zetoc Alert is a current awareness service that sends you email alerts matching the search criteria that you have provided whenever new data is loaded into the database. The searches may be for particular journals, for authors and for keywords from the titles of articles and papers.

For more information go to


Journals are also known as periodicals. They are an important resource because they are:

  • published on a regular basis
  • contain the most up to date scholarly research
  • tend to be shorter and more specific than books.

Use bibliographic databases to search for a topic of interest.  Bibliographic databases will provide a list of relevant journal articles and sometimes also books, reports, working papers and conference proceedings.

Some of the databases will provide you with direct full-text access to the articles. Some will provide an index and abstract (a short summary) of the article, in which case use the 'FindIt@Bham' button to check if there is full text available. 

Whenever you are accessing online journals and databases you need use the Sign in link at the top right of the screen to enter your University username and password.  This will ensure that you get full access to all the resources. 

Using bibliographic databases to find journal articles

Resources found on FindIt@Bham that are relevant to the Shakespeare Institute include:

Setting up alerts on databases

A good example is to use one of the  Citation Indexes, on Web of Science eg Arts and Humanities Citation Index; Science Citation Index or Social Sciences Citation Index:

  • Do a couple of keyword searches on the most appropriate database

If you have been successful with a particular combination of keywords in finding the kind of references you want:

  • Click on SEARCH HISTORY at the top of the screen
  • Select the search from the list of searches you have done and click on SAVE HISTORY
  • This will prompt you to set up a private account with your e-mail address and a password
  • When you have done this, select SEND ME E-MAIL ALERTS and either the weekly or monthly frequency

You will then be sent a message notifying you whenever any new references appear on this database matching your search criteria. Most of the large databases have this facility.  You usually have to register your e-mail address and think of a personal username and password, and the alerting service is free of charge.

Are you being asked to pay for an article?

You may see a request for payment when you try to access a full-text article. We do not expect you to pay for articles in this way.  A payment request can mean one of three things:

•    You need to login to view the content you want to access.  Make sure you are logged in to Findit@Bham and/or look for an institutional login option somewhere on the page and follow the instructions.  

•    We may not subscribe to the content you are trying to access.  Check Findit@Bham to see which years are covered by our subscription to the journal.  There may be a print copy in the Library.

•    There may be a system error for the particular article or journal you are trying to access.  Please report the fault to IT Service Desk

If you are still unsure how to access the article you need contact an Academic Skills Advisor for advice.