From Citation to Full Text – How to find an article when you have the citation

Students and faculty often come to the Library with a citation for an article and need to find the full text. Knowing where to begin the search can be confusing. One quick way to find out if we have full-text access to the article is to start with the online catalog.

1. Open the online catalog
2. Locate the title of your source on the citation and type that into the search box (ex: Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology)
3. Change the type of search to “Journal Title Search” using the “search by” menu to the right of the search box.
4. Click “search”

Your results will indicate whether we have that source and whether it is in print in the Periodicals Collection of the Library or online through one of our databases, which will appear in your results as “Library Location: Online Resource: Electronic Journal.”

5. Choose which path you would like to take.

  • If we do not have access to that journal in print or online, go to our interlibrary loan interface (Illiad) and log in with your KU login. (If you have never used it before, complete the basic information.) Next, click on the “New Request -> Article.”  Fill out the form and click submit. Your request should be fulfilled in 24-48 hours (sometimes sooner!).
  • If we have it in print, you will need to go to the second floor to our Periodicals Collection to find the source and the article. You can ask for help in the Periodicals Office (RL203) if you get stuck. Once you find your article in the printed source, you are done! Enjoy.
  • If you choose Online Resource: Electronic Journal, you will use the record in the online catalog to link to a database where we have access to that source. The record will indicate which database carries it and the date range coverage for that source. Go to step 6.

6. Once you click on the database link to the source, you will be taken to the database and to the specific page for that source. On that page, you can search within the source by article title or keywords, or you can browse through the issues and volumes of the source.
7. If you choose to find the article by volume and issue, locate this information in your citation. Then select the appropriate choices on the database page to find your particular article. If we have access to the full-text article online, you are done searching and ready to read, print, or e-mail the article.
8. If we do not have access to the full-text article online, you are not out of luck! Open our interlibrary loan interface (Illiad) in a new tab or window and log in to it using your KU login. Next, go back to the article page in the database and click on the option to request the article through interlibrary loan. By logging in to the interface first, it should fill out the form for you. Your request should be fulfilled in 24-48 hours (sometimes sooner!).

If you have any questions about this process, please contact a librarian at the Research Help Desk at 610-683-4165 or call the Periodicals Office at 610-683-4158.

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