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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 on the right 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 online at all.

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

  1. Search other DBU databases.  Search for the title of the journal, rather than the article title, in order to find out if the journal is available in full text.  See "Finding a Specific Article" for more information.
  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
    • If we do have it 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 Info guide)
  3. If DBU doesn't own the journal, request the article through Interlibrary Loan.