Answered By: Sarah Morehouse
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2016     Views: 68

When you're searching in a library database, you will usually have some search results that come with full-text, and other search results that have only citation information and an abstract.

Your search results page will guide you to full-text for each article, if we have it. Underneath the article's title and abbreviated citation information, you will see one or more of the following:

  • PDF full-text - this is the most print-friendly option
  • HTML full-text - this option is best if you are using a screenreader, but it is not formatted like an article from a paper journal
  • full-text from JSTOR - this just means we have the full-text, but you need to go to JSTOR to see it. Then you will need to create a free MyJSTOR account in order to download the PDF.
  • Full-text Finder - this link will take you to the full-text in another one of our databases if we have it. If we don't have a subscription that contains that article, it will take you to a page explaining that. 

Sometimes you won't see any of those options. And sometimes Full-text Finder doesn't actually find you the full-text. Why is that? There are several reasons:

  1. You are looking for an article from the mid-1990s or earlier. Some of this content is in JSTOR, but for the most part, journal literature from before the popularization of the Internet hasn't been digitized yet. 
  2. You are looking for an article that's quite recent. A lot of journals do not make their articles available online until they've been available in print for anywhere between 6 months and 3 years. Usually such an embargo lasts 1 year. So if you want an article from the January 2016 issue, you will have to wait until January 2017 for it to appear in the database. 
  3. We purchase access to these databases, and then we purchase "bundles" of content. It's sort of like the database is the TV Listings Channel and the bundles are like the cable packages we subscribe to. No library can afford to subscribe to every journal in existence. We do our best to subscribe to bundles that support the college's subject area focuses. 

What to do?

If you need access to an article that we do not have online access to, you have a few options: Getting sources from outside the ESC Library, from the Research Skills Tutorial.


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