Answered By: Gopal Dutta
Last Updated: Sep 23, 2021     Views: 5000

What is a First online journal article?

A First online journal article is published online ahead of being assigned to an issue. However, the journal itself may refer to it in a different way, for example: ‘online first’, ‘early view’, ‘article in press’, ‘latest articles’ or ‘provisional article’. 

How do I identify a First online journal article?

  • You will see the first online terminology listed above (or similar), on the article page. Always click on the link ‘Check for updates’ to see if it links to an updated version, i.e. with issue details
  • The article will not have any volume, issue or page number details as it has not yet been assigned to a particular issue

What is an online only journal?

Some journal titles are only published online and are not available in print format and as such they need to be referenced differently.

How do I identify an online only journal article?

  • The article may not have all of the same details as a print journal article, for example, it may be missing the issue number and instead provide an article number
  • The PDF download option of the article starts at page 1, therefore not reflecting the order the article would appear in a print issue. When referencing the article enter the page number range starting at page 1
  • Visit the journal homepage (usually accessible by clicking on the journal title at the top of the article) - it may state that it is an online journal and/or only have an online ISSN (journal identifier), rather than both a print ISSN and online ISSN

See the Journal articles section of the MMU Harvard guide, for the reference formats for a First online and an Online only journal article.