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Tutorial: Finding Full Text from Citations

You've just found a citation to a work that sounds like perfect material for the paper you're writing. How do you find the full text you need from just the citation? It's easy! Follow the steps below:

 

Understanding the Citation

First, be sure that you understand the citation: Go to the Deciphering Citations tutorial for a general overview. The citation you're working from may not follow one of the exact patterns given in the tutorial, but should be similar enough for you to find the different elements. If you have questions, ask a reference/subject librarian or see "If You Need More Help " below. Please note that many of the databases subscribed to by Drexel University Libraries are now SFX-linked. This means that many of the steps below can be accomplished more quickly and efficiently by simply clicking on the SFX Buttonbutton when you see one!

 

Finding Books

If the database you are searching is SFX-linked, click on the SFX Buttonbutton.

This will open up a new screen on your computer. If the book you want is available as an e-book, there will be a link to the book. If the book you want is available in print, it will provide a link to the catalog record, which will contain call number, location, and availability information. Click on the location listed to see where the book is within the library collections. If the book is not available either in print or electronically, there should be a link to Interlibrary Loan services.

If the database you are searching is not SFX-linked, check the libraries' catalog for the title of the book.

If the title is in the catalog, the record will show call number, location, and availability information. Click on the location listed to see where the book is withing the library collections. If the book is in the catalog, but there is a Due Date in the availability area that means the book is checked out. You may request it by hitting the "Request" button at the top of the page and completing a short form. If the status listed is "Library Use Only" the book cannot be checked out but may be used within the library.

If the title is not listed in the catalog, Ask yourself, "How soon do I need this book?"

If the answer is "as soon as possible!" -- go to the Other Area Libraries page and search through the online catalogs of nearby libraries. You may be able to check your book out at the Free Library of Philadelphia (public library) or use the book on site in another university library even if you don't have borrowing privileges there.

If you have a few weeks before the book is needed, or if you aren't finding your book in any nearby libraries, go to the E-Z Borrow search page.

Search the catalogs of PALCI libraries for your book. E-Z Borrow requests can often be filled in less than a week. If your book is not found on E-Z Borrow, place a request through the Interlibrary Loan page.

 

Finding Journal Articles

If the database you are searching is SFX-linked, click on the SFX Buttonbutton.

This will open up a new screen on your computer. If the full text of your article is available in another database, the window will provide links to it. It may also give options to link to an abstract of your article and to go to document delivery services.

If the database you are searching is not SFX-linked, or you have a citation from a non-database source, use the Library Catalog to search for the journal title.

Identify the journal title from your citation (see Deciphering Citations), and use the Title Search option, omitting initial articles such as the, an, etc. The results will list both print holdings in the libraries, and an "electronic resource" option if the libraries have access to any electronic versions of the journal. Print journal records will indicate the locations of the journals in the library collections; current issues of some journals may be kept in a different location from older (bound) journals. At Hagerty Library, some older journals may be available in microfilm format. Print journals in each of the Drexel University Libraries are arranged alphabetically by title. Photocopiers are available in each library. To access electronic versions of a journal, click on the title listing labelled "Electronic Resource". In the journal record, click on the "Full text via SFX" link. Full text options for the journal will be listed first on the SFX Options menu; look at the availability information for each option to see which include the year or volume you need. Click on that link to open the database or journal collection that includes the journal title you need. Different databases or collections will provide different mechanisms for navigating to the actual article you need; some will provide links to "previous issues" or "archives"; others will display a search interface that facilitates combining the journal title with a keywords from the article title.

If your search doesn't find the journal title, ask yourself, "How soon do I need this article?" If the answer is "as soon as possible!" -- go to the Other Area Libraries page and search through the online catalogs of nearby libraries. Remember, you are searching for the journal title , not the article title. You may be able to find the journal you need and photocopy the article at another library in the area even if you don't have borrowing privileges there. If you have a few weeks before the article is needed or if you don't find the journal in any nearby libraries, request the article through Interlibrary Loan.

 

If You Need More Help

Still not finding what you need? Have questions along the way? Ask for assistance in one of the libraries, send your question by email, contact one of our reference/subject librarians, or call us!

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