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Research Tips

Selecting a database

To find articles that have appeared in journals or magazines, you will use databases.

Databases are searchable collections of citations to articles. Sometimes they contain the full text of the article, and sometimes they contain abstracts. Read the abstract to decide whether the article is relevant to you. Other things to look at when evaluating search results are the journal title, the language, and the year. 

To find a database relevant to your subject area, click on Databases by Subject. Or you can start with one of these general databases:

Getting the full text

Congratulations, you've found a relevant article!  How can you save the citation for later?  How can you get the full text?

Saving the citation

Some databases have some buttons along the right-hand sidebar that allow you to print a citation, email it yourself, generate a formatted citation (always check it for accuracy), and more. You can use one of these, or simply copy down the citation information:

  • Author of article
  • Article title
  • Journal title
  • Volume number
  • Issue number
  • Year
  • Page numbers

Screenshot of EBSCO sidebar


Getting the full text

When you find a citation in a database, the full text of the article can be in one of three places.

1.  It might be right there in the database.  You will see a link to the full text as a PDF or HTML document.  Easy!

Screenshot of PDF logo

2.  The library might have access to the article through another one of our databases or in print.  In that case, you will see a blue-and-green "Full Text Through LinkSource" link. Click on it to navigate to the database that contains the article. 

Screenshot of LinkSource logo

3.  The TLU Library might not have access to the article. In that case, you can request the article through Interlibrary Loan.  We will attempt to borrow it for you from another library. There is no charge for this service.  Many articles arrive in less than 24 hours! Some take longer. Click the Interlibrary Loan link to fill out the interlibrary loan request form.

Screenshot of ILL logo

4. One more thing to try, before submitting an ILL request: Copy and paste the title of the article, in quotation marks, into Google Scholar ( Look over to the right-hand side where some links are "floating." Sometimes the full text of the article is there, if the author has posted it somewhere in an institutional repository. Look at the formatting and page numbers to see whether this seems to be the full journal article, or a preprint. If it is a preprint and you would rather have the official journal article, feel free to submit an ILL request.