How to Find Articles

How to Find Articles

  1. Select a database.  Go to Foley's library's homepage , then choose one of these options.
  • UNDER FIND ARTICLES - Select a database appropriate to your general subject area
  • UNDER RESEARCH GUIDES - Select the research guide for your area of study to find a list of the recommended databases for that discipline.

2. To find and select articles

  • Enter keywords or subject headings related to your topic in the search box(es) of your chosen database.
  • Read the abstract (if available) and select appropriate articles for your research.

NOTE: Searching for articles and getting good results may take a little practice. For help, contact Foley Library. Look here for tutorials on other library resources.

How to Get Articles

Get the Full Text online - Not all articles are available online, but you can find many that are. Once you have identified the articles you want by reading the abstracts, look for an icon or link that will take you directly to the article.  The links to the articles will be one or more of these options:

  • Full Text Options - Takes you to the journal's record in Periodicals at Foley
  • Link to Full Text - Opens a new window with the article citation and a link to a PDF, HTML or text file.
  • Text - Text version of the article.
  • HTML - (Hypertext Markup Language) The document format language used on the World Wide Web.
  • PDF - Portable Document Format. An electronic "photocopy" of the article that must be read with Adobe Acrobat.

What's the difference in format? Most people prefer the PDF version because it is like a photocopy of the article, but sometimes you may find the only full-text available is in HTML format or even basic text. It's the same article, just a different format.

If the full text is not available directly from the database then…

Check Periodicals at Foley for the journal title.

Why? Because Foley subscribes to a number of databases and not all of them provide online access to the same articles. If the article you need isn't available from the database you were searching in, it may be available in another one. Occasionally article links in the databases do not work smoothly. By searching Periodicals at Foley you are usually able to connect more easily to the online articles that are available through Foley.  NOTE: Not all articles are online! Some may be available only in paper format, but you can STILL get a copy!

Order through ILLiad. If it appears that the full-text is not available through Foley resources, request the article from ILLiad.

  • From the databases, click on Full Text Options. If the article isn't available, click on the link to interlibrary loan.


  • Login to ILLiad and fill out an Article Request Form.

Your article will usually be delivered to your ILLiad account within a few days. You will get an e-mail message when it arrives.

Can't I just send you a list and have you guys do it? Sorry, but we do not have the available staff to re-enter each of the titles on your list into a request form. We prefer that you do it yourself through ILLiad. But if you are having major trouble with your computer (or your internet access) and have a deadline to meet, we can work something out.

The title of my article looks like it will be perfect for my research, why should I read the abstract? The age old saying "you can't judge a book by its cover" works for articles too. Especially if you are requesting an article through ILLiad, read the abstract to determine how essential the article is to your research. ILL is free to you, but expensive for us and often a title that really looks good is only a book review or a 1/2 page editorial!

<The article you sent me is in German! Oops! We usually contact you before ordering any non-English article for you, unless you make a note on the request that German (or Spanish or Dutch....) is OK.  An article's full record in most databases will indicate the language the article is written in and most databases will allow you to set your search preferences to English only.

My article isn't online, does that mean I can't get a copy of the full text?  Long, long ago, way back in the 20th century and even earlier. . . articles were published in paper format.  Even today, paper may be the only format available for some journals.  Distant students may use ILLiad to request ANY article you cannot get online.  The paper copy will be scanned into a PDF file and posted to your ILLiad account.  Local students may have to make a trip to Foley Library if the article they want is available in a paper-format journal here.  The point is. . . articles that aren't available online are still accessible!

I find stuff using Google, why do I need to use the databases? Well, Google certainly is an easy-to-use search engine and you will find "stuff" on Google, but for the type of research you will be doing at Gonzaga, you NEED our databases! Using our databases can actually save you time.  Also, Google doesn't search everything and the online peer-reviewed journals you need for your research usually require a subscription. The library already has subscriptions to many online journals that support Gonzaga's programs and the best way to access them is through the databases.   If we don't have access to something, use ILLiad and chances are, we'll be able to get it for you.  Note: For some great tips on using Google (because we all use it, don't we?) check out this page from the University of Washington Health Links website.

If you have questions, contact us!

Reference Desk:  509-313-5931    

Toll free:               800-498-5941