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Search Strategy: Using Journal Locator

Journal Locator

Do you have a citation specifying a specific journal and need to see whether the library has a copy or access to a digital copy? You might try using the databases, but this is an unreliable method, as not all databases will index every journal that the library has or can access. Fortunately, there is a much easier method: The Journal Finder.

Let’s look at a sample citation:

Massetti, B. (1996). An Empirical Examination of the Value of Creativity Support Systems on Idea Generation. MIS Quarterly, 20(1), 83-97.

This example is in APA format. There are some variations in other formats but the basic information is essentially the same (see here for a guide to understanding citations). In order to find out whether the library has access to this article, you will need to first identify the Journal title, which in this case is MIS Quarterly.

Go to the Journal finder (which can also be searched from the main page of the library website). You should see a screen that looks like this:

Type in the name of the journal (or the beginning of the name) as shown below:

and click “Search.”

You should get a set of results that looks something like this:

You can see that this particular journal is available in several different locations. The next thing you want to do is to verify the date of publication of the article, which in this case is 1996. In this particular case, this particular journal should be available in all of the listed databases.

Each database handles this information a little bit differently, so let’s look at a few different ways of accessing the article. First let’s try Business Source Premier. If you click on this link, you will see a results page for this journal. Look to the right side of the page for the year 1996:

If you click on 1996, it should expand to show all of the issues for that year, like so:

Now go back to the citation, look for the volume and issue information:

We can see that this article is in Volume 20, issue 1, on pages 83-97, so click on “Issue 1.” From here you will get a list of results from the database, showing all of the articles in this particular issue of the journal you have selected. They will generally organized in page number, so you can either scroll down to find your article or you can add a search time such as the author name into the search box as shown:

And you should see your result here:

Click on “PDF full text” to get your article.

All databases or sources will not look exactly the same, but all should sort the journals in a similar fashion. As a demonstration, let’s look at the same article in ProQuest Central. If you were to start again from this screen:

and click on ProQuest Central, you will see the date information below.
Choose the correct date range, year and issue as shown here:

You will get the results as ProQuest shows it. You will need to scroll until you find your article:

Click “Full Text – PDF” for your article.
Other sources are different but should all have similar information.