Finding Online Articles

There are several tools you can use to find the full text of scholarly journal articles. Here are instructions for using:

There are several more databases that you can use but since they all work basically the same way I thought these would be a good start. You will also want to familiarize yourself with other databases such as ERIC, PsychINFO, and Business Source Premier. For those of you who may not have done much searching like this, it is similar to using an internet search engine in that the results you get are only as good as the terms you enter. The less restrictive your search, the more results. The more restrictive your search, the fewer results.

Please walk through the following examples and then play with each tool yourself. If you are reading this as part of New Student Orientation, please note that you will be asked to perform searches with these tools on the Resources Quiz. I would advise turning off pop-up stoppers when doing these searches as they open a lot of additional windows.

You can also look at the "finding articles" section and the "searching IUCAT" section in the IUPUI Library Tutorial inflite. If you have difficulty accessing the databases please walk through the Connection Trouble process.

1. Citation Linker

This is the easiest thing to use and the best way to get started IF AND ONLY IF you know what article you are looking for. If you are randomly browsing to find something on a topic this will not help. Citation Linker is also linked off the University Library Article Database and Database by Subject Pages. It looks like this:


Notice that there are four radio buttons at the top of the page labeled Article/Journal, Book, Dissertation, and Patent. The Book option will end up routing you to IUCAT so I recommend starting with IUCAT if you are looking for a book and save yourself a couple of steps.

Type in the information you know:


and click the "Look Up" button. This will take you to a page showing all the different online databases where you can find that article.


Click on the words "Article" or "Issue" to access the article in the database.


If you click "Article" it should take you directly to the article abstract and provide a link to download the pdf or view the html version of the article. If you click "Issue" is will likely take you to a page with a list of the articles in that issue. You would then need to click on the title of the article you want for the abstract and download.

2. Subject Area Databases

If you do not know what specific article or journal you are looking for it is better to use one of the subject area database search engines like Education Full-Text or Academic Search Elite. These search engines allow you to search based on a subject word or phrase like "adult learning" or "organizational development" or "literacy." They will give you back a list of articles in various journals that are related to your topic of interest. Following are instructions on using Education Full-Text, Academic Search Elite, and ABI/INFORM. Please note that they use EXAMPLE searches and you can type anything you want into the "Search for" box depending on your personal interest.

A. Education Full-Text

* Go to the Education Databases List
* Click on the Education Full-Text l(Wilson) link (it should open in a new window or tab)
* Next to the word "FIND" type in your search terms (for purposes of example use: adult learner online)
* Check the box next to "Peer Reviewed"
* Click on the "Start" button

You may think you should check the box next to "Full Text Articles" as well but this is not recommended because the database has a direct linking feature to IUCAT and you might miss items that you can access that way.

Once the search runs you will see a page listing 10 articles. Your search actually returned more than 40 articles (the total number of articles returned is listed at the top left of the page) and you can use the page number buttons at the top and bottom of the page to move through the list or change the "Records" option to "50 per page" to see them all on one page.

To see the abstract and other information about the article, click on the title. To see the full text of the article, click on the blue square icon_fulltext.gif or the red square icon_pdf.gif below the article listing if there is one. The blue square will take you to an html version of the article and the red square will take you to a pdf version of the article. If you want to print the article the pdf version will print better. If there is neither a red nor blue square, click on the findit.jpg button.

Clicking "Find It" will pre-load the article information in Citation Linker and take you to a Citation Linker results page.

B. Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)

Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database including many fields outside of education. It is a good source to use if you are looking for multiple perspectives on an issue. You can reach Academic Search Premier by using the alphabetic list of databases.


ABI/INFORM is a good source for Business/HR articles. It is also linked from the alphabetic list of databases. There are three separate databases in the suite. The "Global" database is likely to be the most useful since you will be looking for peer reviewed journals much more often than magazines and trade publications.

Type in your search terms and make sure "Scholarly journals, including peer-reviewed" is checked.


On the search results page you will see options for viewing the article abstract, html full text, pdf full text, or the findit.jpg button to use the library citation linker.

3. Interlibrary Loan

There will probably be a time when an article you are looking for is not available in full-text electronically from any of the IUPUI databases. In this situation you will need to request it through interlibrary loan. Please read Quick Tips for Using ILLiad to learn how to use this wonderful service.

IMPORTANT: if you are requesting a copy of an article or book chapter which is physically owned by the library you need to make sure to say in the "Notes" area that you are a distance student and are not in the Indianapolis area or near another IU library that also has that item. If you are in the Indy area or near another IU library that has the item you need to physically go to the library and make a photocopy.

4. Other Internet Databases and Search Engines

Google Scholar is Google's answer to research.

Be aware that you may not be able to access the full text of articles you find with this search without being affiliated with a college or university. However, as long as you are at IUPUI if you have the author`s name, the article title, and the journal name you can go to the Citation Linker and find it through the IUPUI library.

Please see this FAQ on Google Scholar by the Thompson Rivers University Library for more information. As they note DO NOT PAY FOR ARTICLES on Google Scholar. Go to the Citation Linker and pull it up from the IUPUI library for free.

When searching using Google Scholar you are actually searching for articles but as the articles are retrieved, the listing also gives you the journal title. So for example, in the one below the article is "Contemporary Paradigms of Learning", the author is J. Mezirow, and the journal is Adult Education Quarterly.


To attach the IUPUI database search to Google Scholar watch this tutorial

It becomes considerably harder to access many of these journals when you are not affiliated with a college or university so I have compiled a list of open-access full-text journals on the Online Full Text Journals and eBooks page that could be helpful to you both now and after you graduate.

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