Skip to Main Content

How to Use Citations to Find More Sources

How to find articles, books, and other sources when you have citation information (author, article title, journal title, date, etc.)

Finding an Article Using Citation Information: Method

The Quick 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).

If you have a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), use the "Get PDF by DOI/PMID" link on the Libraries' home page, and paste the DOI in the box.


screenshot of libraries' home page highlighting the Get PDF by DOI button


If you don't have a DOI, use our e-Journal List 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.

screenshot of libraries home page with e-journals link highlighted



If the article is unavailable electronically, search for the title of the journal in the URI Libraries Search 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

Detailed 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. DOI/URL.

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 on the left side of this guide.

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

If you have a DOI, follow these steps. Otherwise jump to Step 6. 

3. If you have a DOI, click on 'Get PDF by DOI/PMID' under the search box. 

4. Type the DOI in the appropriate field and click on 'Find Article.'

5. A page with full text options should come up. Click on the link to be directed either to the article itself or look for the expansion menu at the bottom of the page to find more full text options. You may be directed to the URI Proxy Login page if you are off-campus. If you see a message that the article is unavailable, you may request it through Interlibrary Loan. 

If you do not have a DOI for your article, follow the below steps.

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

screenshot of libraries homepage ejournals link


7. 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.

8. 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

9. 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, or live chat.

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:

Research Help @ URI

Click on the black arrow to open the chat in a new window.

Chat is available during our regular hours.
If we're not online, please email us at Please allow 1 business day for a response.

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