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Research Planning Guide

Use this guide to learn about the research process and plan your research project.

How to Read a Citation

When you search a database, your results are displayed as a list of citations.  A journal article citation contains the information you need to locate the article.  Depending on the database, the format may be different, but this is what you will usually find: 

The "Source" is the title of the journal, magazine, or other publication that contains the article.  If the article is not available in full text, it won't have any PDF or HTML links.  If that is the case, don't give up!  Read the information in the box below to find out what to do next.

What if the Article is NOT available in Full Text?

Not every published article is available in full text online.  This could be due to any one of several reasons:

  • The author did not give permission for the article to be available through a database;
  • The journal could be withholding content for a specific period of time (this is known as "embargo"), but it will eventually become available, usually 6 months to 1 year after publication;
  • The journal doesn't have a full text contract with the database you're using, but its articles are available in other databases; or
  • The journal is not available in full text online at all.

What can you do if the article you want is not available online?

  1. Search other DBU databases. Try the Journal search feature in WorldCat.  Type the title of the journal or magazine you need in the search box. Results will show the databases that provide access to that journal. Note: even though the journal is available, it might not be available for the date or issue you need, and access to the article may not be available in full text. But this search feature will give you a place to start.
  2. Search the DBU catalog to find out if we have it in print.
    • Use "Advanced Search," change "Keyword" to "Journal Source," then type the title of the journal, not the article title. The catalog will tell you the dates of the issues we have.
    • If we do have your article in print, you can make a copy (10 cents/page) in the library, or if you are a Distance Student you can ask us to send you a copy (for more information, visit our Distance Learners Library Guide).
  3. If DBU doesn't own the journal, request the article through Interlibrary Loan.