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Finding Materials from Citations: Finding Articles from Periodicals

Learn how to read a citation and to find the book, periodical article, or other item to which it refers.

Unsure of the Citation?

Are you sure that you're searching for an article from a periodical?  If not, check out the Reading the Citation tab.

Step 1: Search Library Databases

First, find out if you can access the article through a Library Database.  From off-campus, you'll need the barcode number from the back of your Truxal Library Card or Student Photo ID to access the databases.

Bishop, K. and Kimball, M. A. (2006, Fall). Engaging students in storytelling. Teacher Librarian 33(4), 28-31.

To find this article, use Truxal's Journal Title Search to find out which library databases, if any, provide access to the periodical in which the article appears. If you search for the periodical Teacher Librarian, your results might look like this:


Teacher librarian (Vancouver) (1481-1782)

from 11/01/1996 to present in ProQuest Education Journals
from 09/01/1998 to present in Academic OneFile, Academic Search Premier and MasterFILE Premier

Notice the date ranges we can accesss through each database. 

In the actual Journal Title Search, you can click on each database name to find out if it provides access to the full text of that journal's articles, or whether it provides only access to abstracts (summaries) of articles. Remember - you can't use abstracts in papers or presentations; you must access the full text of sources.  If you don't find full text in one database, try another.

If there's no full-text access in any library database, go to Step 2 below.

If (1) a database provides full-text access to the periodical and (2) the date of publication falls within the date range provided by the database, Search within the Publication for keywords from the article title: engaging students storytelling.

Step 2: Search Truxal Library's Catalog

If you don't have access to the article through Library Databses, search the Library Catalog for the title of the journal, magazine, or newspaper where the article appears.

Pregnancy and H1N1 flu. (2009, June 24). JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association,301(24), 2542.

If you search the Library Catalog for keywords from the journal title (like JAMA), you'll see results like this:


Location: Periodicals (must be used in library)
Latest Received: SEP 2, 2009;AUG 19, 2009;
Summary Holdings: Volume 255:Number 1 (01/03/1986) - Volume 278:Number 24 (12/24/1997),Volume 279:Number 1 (01/07/1998) - Volume 280:Number 24 (12/23/1998),Volume 281:Number 1 (01/06/1999) - Volume 281:Number 12 (03/24/1999),Volume 281:Number 14 (04/14/1999) - Volume 282:Number 24 (12/22/1999),Volume 283:Number 1 (01/05/2000) - Volume 283:Number 15 (04/19/2000),Volume 283:Number 17 (05/03/2000) - Volume 290:Number 24 (12/24/2003),Volume 291:Number 1 (01/07/2004) - Volume 291:Number 24 (06/23/2004),Volume 292:Number 1 (07/07/2004) - Volume 292:Number 24 (12/22/2004),Volume 293:Number 1 (01/05/2005) - Volume 293:Number 17 (05/04/2005);
v.293:no.18 (2005:May 11) - v.302:no.9 (2009:Sept. 2)


The Summary Holdings tell us whether the library has the particular volume and issue number that we want (in this case, volume 301, issue 4). Because the Summary Holdings tell us that the library has everything from Volume 293, issue 18 (from May 11, 2005) through Volume 302, issue 9 (from September 2, 2009), we know that the library has Volume 301, issue 4 (from June 24, 2009).

Please note that Truxal Library's periodicals do not circulate and must be used in the library.  Current periodicals are located on the second floor of the library building, and past issues are located on the first floor.  All are organized alphabetically by title.

Step 3: Search the Internet

You may find an article is available on the internet, but please be aware that rarely are articles on the internet accessible for free, especially articles from scholarly journals. If you're ever asked to purchase an article, you should consider using Interlibrary Loan instead (see Step 4).

If the article has a DOI (digital object identifier) assigned to it, you can enter that number into Google's search box.

Schwab, C., & Huber, L. (2006, August). Obey or not obey? Dogs (canis familiaris) behave differently in response to attentional states of their owners. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 120(3), 169-175. doi:10.1037/0735-7036.120.3.169

If you used Google to search for the DOI of this article, you'd find a result like this:

[PDF] Obey or Not Obey? Dogs (Canis familiaris) Behave Differently in ...
File Format:
PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View
Copyright 2006 by the American Psychological Association. 2006, Vol. 120, No. 3, 169–175. 0735-7036/06/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/ - Similar - by C Schwab - 2006 - Cited by 10 - Related articles

You can click on the PDF file to see the full text of the article.

If the article doesn't have a DOI assigned or none is listed in the citation, use keywords from the article's title: obey dogs behave differently response attentional states.

Step 4: Interlibrary Loan

Request the article through Interlibrary Loan.

Interlibrary loan involves Truxal Library asking other libraries to loan us (and you) materials.

Tips for interlibrary loan:

  • Almost all materials available through interlibrary loan are free; the form will ask if you are willing to pay a charge
  • We recommend a two-week lead time for interlibrary loan. However, articles that are emailed as PDFs often arrive much faster.

Research Assistance

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Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography