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The information cycle

Next months: Journals

Within the next few months, scholars, professionals and researchers entered the conversation about the September 11 attacks producing in depth reviews of the particular aspects of the event or articles that were the result of empirical research and provided detailed theoretical analysis. The articles appeared in academic periodical publications called journals.

Articles targeted several areas of knowledge from human rights to media ethics, politics and democracy, business administration, psychology and a lot more. Academics also raised challenging questions about areas of their disciplines that could pursue in future research.

Browse the gallery of journals published a few months later the September 11 attacks. Click the gallery images to view & read articles discussing different aspects of the event and targeting different disciplines.

Information dissemination

The months that followed the event, the information continued flowing in written form but in a slower pace. The collection of data, the use of qualitative and quantitative methods, and the depth of analysis made the production process slow. The information stops being current. Additionally, journal articles went through the peer review process, meaning that other experts in the field reviewed the content of its article to determine whether it is worthy to be published. This made the publishing process even slower.

Journal attributes

Reading articles online, can be trickier than when you are looking at a print version of a source. Computer screens impose us with the impression that all information sources are the same or that they offer the same kind of information.

Check the table with the journal attributes that will help you determine the type of source you are viewing.

Attributes   Hints
Name of source

Journal names are usually specific, claiming a particular topic e.g. Theory, Culture & Society. They also include words like Journal e.g. Journal of Organizational Behavior or words like quarterly e.g. Human Rights Quarterly. This implies that the information they provide takes longer to be produced and that it does not provide current news.
Author of information
Journal articles always attribute authorship. The writers of journal articles are scholars, researchers, and professionals. Usually their affiliations appear after their names.
Date of information
Journals are published bimonthly or quarterly. The date appears in the form of Month - Year, or Season - Year or Year.
Length of information
Journal articles are typically very long, this is why they are separated in several sections. Some typical sections you may find in a journal article are: the abstract with keywords, the introduction, the literature review, the method of the study, the results of the study, the discussion and the conclusion.
Language used
Titles of journal articles often are usually long. Sometimes the title starts with a few catchy words but it is followed by a subtitle which provides more information about the subject of the article. In general, the language used in journal articles is highly technical and theoretical.  
Subject focus
Journals have specific focus on a particular topic depending on the field of knowledge e.g. Review of Educational Research, or Journal of Organizational Behavior.
Additional elements
Journal articles usually dedicate a separate section to the sources they used which is appears at the end of the article. It may be called References, Works Cited, or Bibliography. Journal articles may also have appendices, endnotes, tables, and graphs.
Layout & arrangement
Journals make use of volume and issue numbering. Usually a volume corresponds to an entire year's of a journal's issues. For instance, a journal that is published six times in a year will have six issues in its yearly volume. Issues usually include the volume and issue numbers and date designation e.g. Review of Educational Research Summer 2001, Vol. 71, No. 2, Journals also provide a table of contents with page number designations.
Purpose & audience
The purpose of journal articles is to disseminate finding from original research and add new knowledge. Most of them are labelled as peer reviewed. This means that experts on the same field of knowledge have reviewed the articles in terms of reliability and accuracy. Journal articles intend to inform researchers, professionals, academics and not the general public.
Database Icons

Library databases often provide icons which indicate the type of source e.g.