After you have searched a database to find articles that have been written on your research topic, you will need to know how to find copies of those articles. There are four likely situations you will encounter at this point:
- Your article will be available in electronic full text directly linked from your search results
- Your article will be available in electronic full text in some other resource provided by the library
- Your article is not available in electronic full text but is available in print at the library
- Your article is not available electronically or in print at the library but can be requested through interlibrary loan
We will look at the different procedures you might have to follow using the following set of results from the Academic Search Premier database.
If you look at the database entry for the first article found
you will notice that there is a link to a PDF containing the full text of the article.
Once you have clicked through the PDF Full Text link, no more work is required.
The second article found in this database does not contain a link to a full text version, so a little more work will be necessary.
When an article is not immediately available electronically, your first step will be to open the MERLIN library catalog. It is a good idea to open the catalog in a second browser window so you can jump back and forth between your citations and your catalog search. There is a link to the catalog in the navigation bar on the left side of every page of the library web site.
When you first open the catalog, it is set up to do a simple keyword search.
You are interested in a more specific kind of search. Since you are looking for a journal article, you must first check to see if you have access to a print or electronic edition of the journal through Missouri S&T. To do this, change the Keyword setting in the drop-down menu to Journal, Magazine, Newspaper Title.
Now go back to your database search results and find the journal in which the article you want was printed.
Enter the title of this journal into the MERLIN catalog search box and perform your search.
If Missouri S&T has print or electronic access to your journal, a page for that journal will appear. This page is called a catalog record.
Notice that just below the title and publication information for this journal there is a box labeled "Link to web version".
You see that Missouri S&T has access to this journal through two different providers. The years offered by each provider are included as part of the link to the electronic version of the journal. A year followed by just a dash means you have access from that year to the present.
Return to the database window and check the year that the article you need was published.
Since the article you need was published in 2006, and since Missouri S&T has access to an electronic version of the William & Mary Quarterly from 1944 to the present through one link and 2001 to the present through the other, you can use either link to access the electronic full text of your article.
Now let's look at the third article returned by the database. Again, you will notice that no direct link to electronic full text is provided.
Just as you did with the previous citation, first check the title of the journal that published the article.
Now perform a journal title search in the MERLIN catalog.
A catalog record for this journal appears, so you have some access to at least some years of this journal.
You will notice that Missouri S&T has access to an electronic version of this journal.
You can get the article electronically if it was published between 1928 and three years ago, which at the time of this writing means fall of 2004. Go to your citation and check the date of the article you need.
The article was published in 2006, which means that it will not be available electronically until March of 2009. You might be able to find a copy of the article in the print version of the journal, though. The area below the links to electronic versions describes the years and location of our print version of this journal. We call this the holdings information.
According to this, the library has this journal in print from 1968 through 1980 and from 1995 through the present.
Since your article was published after 1995, it is available in the library in print. The holdings information tells you where you need to go in the library to find the print version.
You will go downstairs to the Lower Level and look through the shelves until you find the books numbered F1 .N62. You will then look on these books to find the individual volume containing issues from 2006. In this volume you can find the appropriate issue, and then the article inside that issue.
Now let's look at the fourth article returned by the database.
Since it is not available electronically through this database, you will find the name of the journal that printed the article.
Next, you will search the MERLIN catalog to see if Missouri S&T has access to this journal.
Instead of a catalog record for this journal appearing, you see the title of the journal in red and alphabetized among the journals Missouri S&T does have.
This means the library does not have access to this journal in either print or electronic form. In this case, you can request a copy of the article through Interlibrary Loan.