How to find journal articles

Articles from professional and scientific journals are the main source of information in science and technology. Articles contain highly specific information and are more up to date than books. Journal articles, book chapters and papers published in conference proceedings can not be found in the library catalogue. You will have to search bibliographic databases (also called article indexes) for them.

Finding articles on your topic

1. Identify a relevant database

Bibliographic databases index journal articles (and other documents) within a certain subject area by the author, title, and subject of each article. To find the right database for your topic, consult the Portals section of the Digital Library. There you will find suggestions for bibliographic databases covering a wide range of subjects.

2. Search the database

Use important keywords or subject words that describe your topic. Scan your results to identify citations that seem relevant or interesting.

Most databases offer help functions, consult them for the best way to search a specific databases. The Library also offers an online introduction to database searching techniques.

3. Get the article

In most databases listed in the Digital Library you can link to the full text directly or via SFX. If the database you're seaching has an SFX button Get it or a link to full text, click it. If not, copy the bibliographic data (journal name, volume, issue, first and last page) and follow the instructions for locating a specific article below

Locating a specific article

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If you are looking for a specific article of which you know all publication details (journal title, volume, issue, pages) the best way to find it is to look up the journal in the Journals A-Z section of the Library Catalogue. In the catalogue record, you can see which libraries hold the journal. The holding data consist of a library acronym, followed by a call number and an indication of available volumes.

Journal holding data in a catalogue record

Clicking on the library acronym will show you the full name and address of that library. WWW means the journal is available full text on the Internet. In this example, the journal is available full text from Volume 6 to the present. It is also available in hardcopy at the Leeuwenborch Library, vol. 1 (1994) through vol.11 (2004).

If the journal is neither available full text on the Internet nor in one of the Wageningen libraries, you can ask the library to order photocopies for you through Inter Library Lending. This is not a free service, you will be charged a fee. There is an online request form that you can use for ILL.

mail icon Wageningen Digital Library, 3 December, 2010