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Librarian-approved, Time-saving Research Tips, Part 4: Use the Full Text Finder

Note: this is the fourth post in an 8-part series of tips designed to make you a better researcher.

Have you ever found a great-sounding article in a library database, only to discover that the full text was not available? Frustrating, isn't it??

Unfortunately, it's a common scenario because of the nature of the publishing industry. Many times, journal publishers will not give database publishers the rights to reprint the full text of an article. But because the database publishers want you to know that the articles exist, they will provide citation information (and occasionally abstracts) for articles. This means that it is up to you to search the library's collections for the article--something that can be difficult if you're not familiar with library research tools.

To help you in those no-full-text situations, we've set up a tool called the Full Text Finder. I may be biased, but I think this tool is one of the best library inventions ever! With the click of a button, you can determine whether or not the Libraries have the article you need; with one more click, you can get to the full text (if we have it), or submit an Interlibrary Loan request. How great is that?!

Here's how it works:

  1. You start by searching a database for your topic. In many cases, you'll find full text articles right there in your search results.
  2. But if full text isn't available, all you have to do is click on the Full Text Finder button.
  3. A window will pop up, telling you whether or not APU subscribes to an electronic copy of the article.
  4. If we do, you'll see a link that takes you directly to the article, even if it's in another database!
  5. If APU doesn't have access to the article, you can click the "Article Reach" link to request a copy of the article from another library. Most articles will be emailed to you within 24 hours, and you can check the status of your request in your personal library account.

More of a visual person? Here's a handy little video demonstrating how the Full Text Finder works:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n--acnvTqUY[/youtube]

The Full Text Finder is a great tool. If you have questions about it, contact us--we'd be happy to walk you through it.

In this series: