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How do I get a full text copy of an article?

How do I get a full text copy of a journal article when the full text is not included in the database?
What's the best way to look up full text of an article based on a citation from a bibliography? I don't know which database to look in!
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2015  |  486 Views

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This answer demonstrates several methods of finding full text for articles from periodicals. Click on a link below to read the section that best fits your situation.

1. In UST OneSearch

2. In the Databases

3. Using a citation (e.g. from a footnote or reference list)

4. Google Scholar

5. Interlibrary Loan

1. In UST OneSearch

To access article full text in UST OneSearch, click the "View Online" button.

Use this procedure for articles you have already found in UST OneSearch. OneSearch is not always a reliable tool for looking up article full text based on an article's title and other information. For that technique, see #3 below.

2. In the Databases

There are two ways to access full text in library databases. The first is direct links to full text. The second is the UST button.

a. Direct links

You can often access full text directly from the article's database record, either through a PDF (for downloading) or HTML text (appearing in the web page).

Database direct full text

b. The UST Button

Clicking the red "UST Check Availability" button next to the article record will search all UST article resources for a copy of the article. If the article is available, a link to it will open in a new window. 

UST button full text

3. Using a citation

To find an article using a citation from a bibliography or footnote, the best tool is the Journals list.

Journals list

From the library "Research" page, click on the Journals link.

In the search box, search for the title of the journal.

If you are using a citation, be careful that you are searching for the journal title, not the article title. See this example:

Ghaphery, J., & White, E. (2012). Library Use of Web-based Research Guides. Information Technology & Libraries31(1), 21–31.

The journal title is Information Technology & Libraries. In most citations, the journal title comes after the article title and before the volume and issue number.

Your search results will tell you whether we have the journal and our holdings for it. For journals available online, find the resource that has holdings in the year you want, then click the name of the journal listed above that resource. You should get to a page with links to available years, volumes and issues of the journal; browse through these to find your article.

For journals available in print, go to the Doherty Library basement, west side. Journals are shelved in alphabetical order by title. 

Microfilm and microfiche journals are available in the Reference Room. Ask a reference librarian for assistance.

4. Google Scholar

Searching for an article using Google Scholar ( will sometimes connect you with full text for that article from web resources not listed in our library resources. Search for the article's complete title in the Google Scholar search box.

To take full advantage of Google Scholar as a research tool, read these instructions. They show you how to connect to UST full text from your Google Scholar search results, and send article citations to RefWorks!

5. Interlibrary Loan

For articles not at UST, students, faculty and staff can request a copy to be delivered using Interlibrary Loan. The process may take 1-3 weeks. If you request an electronic copy, you will receive it in your email.

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