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Hope Library Guides

Research Desk Practice Exercises

Locating Articles from Citations

Students often ask us for help locating the full text of articles, and this is one of the more complicated questions to answer, as our journal collections exist in multiple electronic packages, as well as various print formats.  This exercise will allow you to practice locating journal articles from a citation. 



When a student brings you a journal citation, it will look something like this and include the following information:


image of a citation with captions

Sometimes, students will bring you a handwritten partial citation without all of the information.  You will need all of this information to find the right article, so ask the student where they found it, or use Google to figure out the complete citation.

First always search the article title in Hope Primo.  In many cases you can easily find the article there.  However, if your first search does not clearly bring back the article, proceed to this next step to check for sure if the library has the article.


From Hope Primo, select "Journal Finder" Use this tool to search for the title of the Journal that the article is published in (not the article itself!). 


Tips: 1. this search engine can be unforgiving, so make sure you don't have any typos.

         2.  If the journal title you have is abbreviated here are some tools to help you figure it out:

                 a.  JABBR - enter the abbreviation into this online tool to see a list of possible expansions

                  b.  Periodical Title Abbreviations - located right behind you on the Ready Reference Shelf

                  c.  Ask a librarian!  And, we'll help you decipher things.


The results will tell you if we have coverage of that journal, and what dates we have coverage for.



The Available Online option will lead you to a screen that looks like the following, detailing which different databases/subscriptions through which we have access to that journal and from which dates:


While the View Journal Contents option will lead you to our Browzine Product.  This will show you the most recent issue we have for a journal and allow you to browse back through the last few years to specific articles.

Clicking this link will take you back to our Journal Finder tool (some titles will go directly to this screen instead of through Browzine).


If it looks like we have coverage for the date that you need, select one of the electronic resources that provides it.  Once inside the resource, you will either see a browsable list of issues, from which you can browse your way to the article you need, or you may spot a search box where you can type in part of the article title to bring up the full text.  


  1. Open Access - We provide links to collections of journals that are freely available online (Directory of Open Access Journals, Free Medical Journals, Freely Accessible Science Journals.) Because these systems are outside of our control, they don't always connect smoothly to our system.  It may take a little more clicking and digging to get to the full text with some of these journals, so ask a librarian if you are having trouble locating the full text.


If you don't see electronic coverage for the title you need, look to see if there are options in Print form. This shows that we may have print coverage for that article, either in print/bound form or on microform/microfiche.

Again, compare the coverage dates to the date of the article you need and see if they overlap. 

  1. If it is available as a bound journal, these are located in the stacks.  Bound journals are located in their own separate sections on each floor, usually at the South end of the building
  2. If it is available on microfiche, locate the appropriate fiche in the cabinets in the basement, and instruct the student on viewing and printing them on the microfiche reader on the 1st floor.  More detailed instructions on the microform reader are available on the Desk Manual, but also have a librarian walk you through this process if you haven't seen it yet.

Magazines and Newspapers

Occasionally, a patron will approach us needing to locate a magazine or newspaper article.  These searches are very similar to locating a journal article, with a few differences.

  1. The citation will look a little different.  Usually there won't be a volume or issue number, but there will be a much more specific date because these serials are published more frequently than journals (monthly, weekly or daily).
  2. Start again with a search in the Journals List to see what our coverage is for that periodical.  However, keep in the back of your mind that just because it says we have electronic coverage for the date you need, the database may or may not actually have the particular article you need, because their coverage is notoriously spotty.  Anticipate dead-ends, and be prepared to try alternatives and double check with a librarian, if you can't find it.
  3. In magazines and newspapers, you may find slight variants in the article title, or the article may be a subsection of a more broadly titled section.  Keep your eyes peeled!
  4. Try a combination of browsing or keyword searching on portions of the title and/or author, whatever method seems to make the most sense.
  5. Because magazine and newspaper articles are shorter, they may be only a subsection of a page, so keep your eyes open.

Are you unsure about the differences between journal, magazine, and newspaper articles?  You should know the difference, because students will ask!  Here are a couple of videos that give you an overview of the topic:

 Book Chapters

Citations for book chapters will look similar to those for a journal article with a few notable differences:

When searching for a book chapter, search for the Book Title (Not chapter title!) in PRIMO.

Locating Sources from Citations Assignment

Exercise #1 - Review Scholarly vs Popular Articles by taking the Source Wars Tutorial, and entering your mentor's email address when you are finished.

Exercise #2 - Complete the quiz "Sources from Citations."  Submit the quiz by entering your mentor's email address at the end.