So, if I see an article that I want to read, how do I get it?
Some of the articles are available in full-text from the database. A link in the results list for individual titles and within the full record for each indicates full-text (either HTML or PDF) availability. Whenever possible, it is a good idea to choose the PDF version, because it has all of the pictures and text that the original article contains. HTML documents will open more quickly, but may not include graphs, charts or pictures.
If there is no full-text link, there is a yellow 'find it' button, which will automatically check to see if the article is available in full-text from another database. Because full-text may not be included in the same database that you search, it is better not to limit your search to Full-text only. Let's click on the yellow 'find it' button.
If the full-text is available elsewhere, the name of the database will appear in a pop-up window. Click on the “Read full text at" link. Some databases may ask you to perform your search again, while others may take you directly to the article or its journal's table of contents. For more information on this feature, you can go to the Find It FAQ page. Go to the How Do I? page of the library Web site, click on the Find materials? tab, and then click on the Find It FAQ link.
That's great! I would have completely missed that feature if you hadn't shown it to me. But what happens if it isn't in any of the library's databases?
Well, then you can request it through our DocumentExpress service. If it says not available online, the option 'Request it from DocumentExpress' will appear in the popup window. Just click the 'Request it' link. For more information see the Using DocumentExpress for Articles guide. Go to the How Do I? page of the library Web site, click on the Find materials? tab, and then click on the Using DocumentExpress for Articles link.
Okay, so let's say that I locate an article and go to the detailed record, read the abstract and decide to read the entire article. Then I access the article, read it and it seems pretty good. How do I know whether I should use it in my paper or not?
When deciding what to use for your paper it is important to keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules to follow; however, you might want to consider:
- Who the intended audience is or whom it was written for
- How objective or biased it is and what kind of bias it has, if any
- If there are any other sources that support this article
- If the author's affiliation and credentials are available
- The currency of the article (example: is the information up to date ?)
- If the sources used are referenced
- If there are any graphs, charts or pictures
Well, that all seems reasonable. Thanks for all the help Mike! I think that I'll spend some time checking out a few other databases to see what kind of information I can find.
That's a good idea Quentin, since different databases will find different articles. Keep in mind that different databases may use different subject terms. It is best to start by running a keyword search, and then checking to see what subject terms are used by the database.
Remember, if you need more help, please get in touch with us again. We're available 24/7 by chat or e-mail. We also have walk-in and IM hours.
Remember you can also access other UMUC resources to assist you, including:
- The Effective Writing Center where you can submit your paper for review, ask a writing-related question, and find writing resources.
- Technology Resources Find information concerning your use of UMUC software and equipment, and locate computer labs.
- Career Services where you can learn about upcoming job fairs, talk to a career counselor , and get career advice.
- Department of Student Success where you can find a mentor or tutor, and strengthen your leadership skills in online clubs and honor societies.