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Find the Full Text with "FindIt": Articles

I found an article in the database, but the full text is not there! Why???

The library’s databases are simply indexes of information. This means that information about published resources – articles, book chapters, monographs, editorials – are recorded in the database. This record is called a citation and it includes all relevant information about the resource: title, authors, publication name, abstract, etc. The full text may or may not be attached to the citation record.

Obviously, the ideal situation is for the full text to be available in the database that you are using, either as a .pdf document or as a html version. However, you will often have to go to another database or the print collection to actually obtain the full text.

If the resource is not available in one of these formats, the library will order it for you using the interlibrary loan / document delivery system (ILLIAD).

Using FindIt (and the Web Bridge) to Locate the Full Text

Once you’ve found a citation for an article in the database that you are using, you will see a button if the full text of the document is not there. Here is an example from the CINAHL database:


Click on the   button to open the Web Bridge that shows:

  • basic information about the article
  • the name of other databases that should contain the full text
  • a link to the NovaCat library catalog to search for the journal in our print collection
  • a link to ILLiad (the interlibrary loan / document delivery request form)

In the example above, the full text of the article is available in another database called Wiley InterScience. Simply click on the link to the database to retrieve the article.

Had there not been another database listed there, you would check the NovaCat catalog to find out if the library has this journal in its print collection. (Distance students can skip this step.)

If the library does not have access to this article either electronically or in print, simply click on the ILLiad link to place an order for the article through the Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery service. This service is free and the form will automatically be filled out for you, so all you'll have to do is log in and submit the request. 

Below is an example of the ILLiad request form:

Things to Avoid!


Searching in the Full-Text Finder for the Article Title instead of the Journal Title.

Typing errors such as "American Geriatric Society" instead of "American Geriatrics Society" for Journal title.

Using the Journal Abbreviation in the Full-Text Finder instead of the full title.

Using a citation with an error in it.

Using Google Scholar or the public web site for PubMed = no links to HPD subscription journals.

Not asking for help from your librarian as soon as you realize you need assistance.

Buried Treasure

Use the 'Find Similar Results' or 'View Related Articles' tool when you find a good article to find similar ones.
Some journals print a theme-based issue once or twice per year-see the other articles in the same issue for more information on your topic.
Some journals are perfect for researching your topic. Use the "Search within this publication or journal" option to find more information.
Try researching using your author names. Often authors write more than one article about a specific topic.
Go citation surfing! Look at the reference list for your article, you're bound to find one or two gems.
Use the Major and Minor Subject Heading links in your citation for get a more directed search on your topic.


HPD: 4 Steps to Success

TL;DR (too long; didn't read?)  The databases don't work like that! See below to find out how to get the the full-text once you find an article you need.

Step 1:  Subject searching in one of the databases. Use your program's resource guide to find out which databases will produce results most relevant to your area of study. You can also use this list of HPD’s 187 Health & Medicine research databases or this list of all NSU’s 587 research databases.

Step 2:  Yay! The database I'm using has the full-text of my article. Proceed to download the .pdf or html. Continue searching for more articles -or- you're done and you can stop looking.

Step 3:  The citation does not have the full-text attached. Now you will use the   button to open the Web Bridge that will help you locate your article (see the box below for information on this process).

Step 4:  Read your articles and get an “A” on your paper!  


What do you think?

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What do you think?
I can now find full-text like a pro.: 5 votes (38.46%)
Sort of helpful, but I still have questions.: 4 votes (30.77%)
I'm so confused.: 4 votes (30.77%)
Total Votes: 13