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Use OneSearch to find a specific journal or article, or search the databases to find articles in a particular subject area or topic. In many cases you can then access the full text of your article instantly!

Research and academic publishing has moved away from print resources toward electronic formats and this has impacted how libraries are purchasing, storing and accessing this published content. In fact, many of our library’s journals and articles are only available in electronic format. Don’t be worried that you won’t be able to find the exact information you need, often the electronic journals or articles are in PDF format. Therefore, these journals and articles look exactly like they would if you were to go to the hard copy print version of the journal or article.

Finding a Specific Journal or Article

If you need to find a specific journal or article use the library website, Databases A-Z page. You can Find a specific journal, magazine or newspaper subscription if you are looking for a specific journal but don’t have a specific article within that journal. You can also, Find a specific article from the citation if you have a particular article within a journal, magazine or newspaper that you want to find. You will get better results if you input at least the title of the journal and year you are interested in finding.

The search results will show you if the library has electronic access to this article, and if there is electronic access, the different databases that have access to the particular journal and year you are interested in will be returned for you. You will then need to click on one of the databases listed so that you can go into that database to access the full text of that article. Sometimes, you are taken into the full text of the journal, but not to the specific article. If that is the case, you will need to use the citation information including the volume, issue and year to find the correct issue you need to get the article you want.

If the library has this article in print, it will tell you where in the library this item is located, and the call number for that journal. Print journals are shelved on the 5th floor.

If the library does not have full text access to your article, you can request this article free of charge using Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Login with your SDSUid and password. You'll get an email notification when the article is available for download.

Finding a Full Text Article on Your Topic

If you want to find an article or journal on your topic but don’t have a specific citation in mind then it is best to take a look at the library databases in your subject area. The library has access to hundreds of article databases, so the trick is to search in a database that covers your subject area or topical area. Librarians have created Research Guides and Course Guides to help point you in the right direction of databases within your topic. You can choose a Research Guide on your broad topical area, for example, art, business, education, or psychology. Then once you are in the guide for your subject area, if you click on the tab on the left hand side of the guide for Articles you will see a number of the recommended databases that cover your topical area. Each database has slightly different coverage and the short description of the database can help you choose which one to search in. Many of the library databases give you the option to limit your searching within that database to full text only. 

Remember, librarians at the research desk are available to help you and they can suggest databases to try based on your specific topic.  Also, there are subject specialty librarians who specialize in particular subject areas who can provide expertise in searching those specialized databases.  Don’t hesitate to stop by the research desk (1st floor Library Addition) to get help or make an appointment to meet with your subject librarian!

Questions? Email us at eref@sdsu.edu