A major problem nowadays is to somehow find that newly published article in a journal you don’t subscribe to – I miss enough articles in the journals I do subscribe to.

The first resort is the Bibliography of Asian Studies Online, only available by subscription (individuals can subscribe but it’s mostly libraries). BAS categorizes hundreds of thousands of journal articles and chapters in edited volumes going back to 1971. The search makes is easy to find an article if you know what you are looking for.  Good enough.

But it’s harder to come across what you weren’t looking for. The most fun way of dealing with the problem is simple: if you have access to a good library’s journal room, stroll up and down the aisles browsing like a deer for acorns. This is good for at least an afternoon and it gets you out of your office but it’s far from systematic and many of us don’t have that access.

So I have been happy in a major way that H-DIPLO has stepped in to organize Journal Watch: H-Diplo Journal & Periodical Review.

The self-description is “H-Diplo Journal Watch monitors leading scholarly journals for articles of particular interest to scholars of diplomacy, foreign relations, and international history, which are listed below by journal title.” Each quarter they post a  .pdf file with Tables of Contents for every journal you ever heard of in those fields, or at least the ones in English.  You can either browse or search for your words. Coverage begins with the year 2007.

Putting this together can’t be much fun, so kudos goes to our new heroes, Erin Black, editor for journal titles from A-I, and Lubna Qureshi, editor for journal titles from J-Z.

Journal Watch doesn’t solve the problem – there’s just too much coming out and there’s no way to search by key words or topic. But every competent project like this is a big help, and you are sure to find acorns which you would have missed.

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