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Finding Resources Using Citations: Finding an Article

How to find articles and other resources when you have the source's citation information (author, article title, journal title, date, etc.)

Finding an Article Using Citation Information

The Method:

When you have a citation to an article, you have all the information you need to find the full text of the article - the author, article title, periodical title, date, volume, issue and page number(s).

To find the article, use our e-Journal List first to search to find out if we have access to a particular publication electronically, and if so - which database do we have that journal in and what time period(s) does our subscription cover.

If the article is unavailable electronically, you can use our library catalog to search to see if we have the periodical you are looking for in print.The catalog shows the dates, volumes and issues that are available for each title. If available in print, write down the call number and use this to track down that periodical in the library.

Important note: Search the e-Journal list or catalog for the title of the periodical not the title of the article.

Finding an Article Using Citation Information

Step-by-Step Guide:


1. Take a look at your citation and identify the journal, magazine or newspaper title. While all of the citation styles are different, in the major styles (like MLA, APA and Chicago) the title of the journal, magazine or newspaper is in italics. 

This is an example of a citation break-down in MLA format:

Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of publication.

Notice that the title of the journal is in italics. If you aren't sure how to read a citation, please check out the "Help with Citations" tab at the top of this guide.

2. Take your article citation and go to the library homepage:

3. Click on the "e-Journals" link to access our searchable list of online periodicals.


location of e-journals link on libraries' home page

4. Type the name of the journal, magazine or newspaper you're looking for into the search blank. We're going to use the Journal of Academic and Business Ethics as an example.


5. Find the result that matches the journal title. Click on the title of the journal to see which database(s) contain the full text of the journal. You may see multiple listings of databases where we have access to the full text of the periodical and the dates of coverage. If the dates of coverage match or cover the date of the article you are looking for, click on the link to the appropriate database to then see if the library owns the volume and issue listed in your citation.


search results


6. If you do not find the periodical you are looking for by searching the e-Journal List or the dates of coverage you need are not available electronically, you can get information about the Library's print subscription by searching the catalog. Search the catalog by title of the periodical to find out if we have the publication in print. The catalog includes a record similar to that of one for a book and gives you information such as title, publisher, location, call number, and available volumes and issues.

The print journals are bound (with multiple issues bound together in hard cover) and are located on the Lower Level of the Carothers Library. Use the call number to find the journal you are looking for.

To search the catalog, click here:

Can't find the article you were looking for or need more help? Contact a Reference Librarian by stopping by one of the URI Libraries' Reference Desks or getting in touch with us by phone, email, IM, or text.

We can help you track down that article or provide other options for getting the full text of the article.

Our contact information can be found here:

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.