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A Guide To...Chemistry: Find Full Text from a Citation

Research guide for chemistry

Reading Citations

How to read a journal article citation in APA format:

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), pages.


How to read a journal article citation in MLA format:

Author, A., and Author, B.  "Title of the Article."  Title of the Journal, vol. #, no. #, Day Month (abbrv.) Year, pp. page numbers, Database Name, doi number.

Journal Title Abbreviations

Often in citations, you will see journal titles abbreviated.  This can make it diffcult to determine what journal the article was published in.  Often you can type the abbreviation into Google to find the full title of the journal.  If that does not work, use the following tools to decipher the full title of the journal:

Steps to Finding Full Text

1)  If the article's citation ends with a URL or a DOI number, copy and paste it into the address bar of a web browser (like Google).  If you are on campus, this should bring you to a page about the article, and if we have full text access to the article through our subscriptions, you should see an option to download the full text PDF somewhere on the page.

**  Note ** This will NOT work if you are off-campus.  The full-text subscription access is verified through our on-campus IP address.  If you are off-campus, you are no longer using Holy Cross's IP address, and therefore the journal doesn't recognize that you have paid access.  You Holy Cross username and password will not work if you try to login to a journal from its webpage.  If you are off-campus, please go directly to step 2.

Steps to finding the full text of an article from an article title, or journal title:
2)  Type the title of the article into CrossSearch (the big purple box on the libraries' homepage).  CrossSearch will find some, but NOT all of the articles that we have access to.
  • If the full text is available, you will see a link that says, "PDF Full Text" or "Linked Full Text" - click this link to get the full text of the article.

                     screenshot of PDF full text icon         |            screenshot of link full text icon

  • If you see a purple "Check For Full Text" icon, this means that the article is not available in CrossSearch, but it may be available in another database.  Click this button.  

                                                        screenshot of the check for full text icon

  • The "Check For Full Text" button might send you directly into a new database where you will see the full text of the article.  You might also see a page that gives you a list of options:  
  • Under "Full Text Options" click a link.  This link will bring you into a new database where you can access the full text of the article.


3)  If CrossSearch does not find the article, check the Electronic Journals  (EJournals) List by searching for the Journal name (not the article name) in the "Find" box.

4) If you cannot find the article in CrossSearch or the EJournals list, check the Library Catalog by searching in the TITLE field for the JOURNAL NAME (not the article name) to determine if the journal is available in print in the libraries:

5) If you are unable to find the article using these steps, ask a librarian for help!  You may need to request the article through interlibrary loan.

The Exploding Article

Often, one really good resource can "explode" into many good resources on a topic -- as long as you know how to use it. Want to know how? Check out this Prezi to find out!  For optimal viewing, click on the title to open the Prezi in a new window. 

Find Sources that Cite Your Original Article or Book

Google Scholar Search