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Tutorials and Training Tools: Tutorial Transcript: Using Citations to Find Books and Articles

Learn how to use the Library and improve your research skills

National University Library Tutorial: Using Citations to Find Books and Articles (Link)

Have a citation and need to locate the full text? Find out how you can search for it. (3:33)

So you've got a citation. Maybe it's a citation for an article that your instructor wants you to find and read. Or maybe you were reading your class textbook, scanned through the works-cited list of an article, or were browsing the web, and an interesting article title caught your attention.

Here's how you can use your library to find the full-text of that article.

Your first stop should be Smart Search. That's the search bar you'll find on the library's homepage.

Try typing in the title of the article you want.

For example, I want to find a copy of "Head and Neck Injury Risks in Heavy Metal."

Here it is! Looks like the full text is available.

We're going to click the title to see which library databases have this article.

This one's available in ProQuest Central. Let's click that link... and here's the full text! That was easy.

Smart Search isn't always able to find articles by their titles. If you've searched and haven't come up with any results, here's another trick you could try.

Before, we searched for the article title. This time, we're going to search for the journal title. We can limit our search to journal titles by clicking the "Journal" option under the search bar.

Again, we're going to click the "Title" and it'll give us a list of databases.

We know this article was published in July 2008, and it looks like all of these databases will have articles from that year.

Let's just pick the first one.

We're looking at the index for Applied Cognitive Psychology. Treat this page like a table of contents for the journal, except instead of page numbers, we're using dates and volume and issue numbers.

Now we're looking at all the articles from that specific issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology. Let's scroll down until we see our article title.

Found it! Click on the full-text link, and you've got your article.

You can do the same thing for books. We're just going to run a search for the title in Smart Search.

Looks like the library has this book and if it says, "Online Access," that means it's an ebook that we can open up right now. For ebooks, you can just click the online access link.

So, what happens if the library has a book that you want, but it's a physical book?

You can tell if it's a physical book if it's got a call number listed here.

You can come pick it up from the library in San Diego, or, if our campus is too far away, you can click the book's title and then click the "Checkout a book" or "request delivery" links.

The library can deliver books to your nearest NU campus, or to home addresses for free. Just fill out the request form.

What happens if you've searched for a book or article, and the library doesn't have it?

You could always try Google Scholar. Google won't normally have the full text of an article available, but sometimes you'll find links to open access archives where authors have uploaded their own work for free.

While you're there, remember to add your library to your Scholar settings to improve your results!

Still no luck? Check out our free interlibrary loan service. We'll try to track down a copy for you.

You can learn more about that here...

Okay! Now you know how to track down the full-text of a document using its citation information.

If you have any questions, we're always ready to help. Just pop us an email at, or give us a call at the number on your screen.

Good luck with your assignment!