Find It FAQ

Ask a Librarian

Find It

Find It provides links from a citation in a database to the full text of that article, if available, and to other helpful resources and services. These options vary from citation to citation, and may include:

  • Full text access to the article
  • An automatic search of the Library Catalog
  • A form for interlibrary loan or delivery of item
  • A link to Ask a Librarian for additional help from a librarian

Find It is a service of the Ex Libris Company. The generic name for it is SFX, however UW-Madison has renamed it Find It .

Who can use Find It?

Find It is available to current UW-Madison students, staff and faculty and to anyone in a campus library.

How do I use Find It?

Find It buttons appear in many of the Libraries' databases. When you search in a database, the Find It button will appear in the records you retrieve. Click on the button to see a menu with links to full text and other resources.

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About the Find It button

Why don't I see any Find It buttons?

The most likely cause is that you have JavaScript disabled in your browser. If it is turned off, the buttons will not appear. Re-enable JavaScript - instructions here.

Why do only some databases have Find It buttons?

Not all databases support the technology behind Find It. We anticipate that more databases will have this service available in the future. Most of the major vendors of our licensed databases do provide Find It links.

Why is the button sometimes Find It and sometimes SFX?

Most databases allow us to use our customized Find It button - however, in some cases, the generic SFX button or a text link for Find It is displayed.

Accessing Articles

Why don't I get a link to full text for my article?

Possible reasons include:

  • An online full text version is not available through the UW-Madison Libraries.
  • Find It linking has not yet been enabled for the journal your article is in.
  • Very recent articles may not yet be loaded on the publisher's web site.

Check the Library Catalog for other available online or print versions.

Why are there multiple links for full text?

In some cases, we get full text for a journal from more than one provider, so if that is the case, we provide multiple links. If one of the databases happens to be temporarily unavailable, you can access the full text from another.

When I click on the link to full text, the article is not there or I get an error message. What happened?

A full text link might not work because:

  • If it is a recently published article, the full text may not be online yet, even though the citation is in the database you searched.
  • There was a typo or error in the citation. Find It uses the citation information to link to the article. If there's incorrect information in the citation, Find It won't be able to link properly to the full text. If this is the case, Find It may instead link you to the journal publisher's web site and you can search for the article there.
  • If you find an error in a citation, notify us.

Sometimes when I click on a full text link, I end up on the journal's home page or the table of contents. Why didn't I link right to the article?

Find It will get you as close as possible to the article you want. Sometimes, the e-journal will not let us link to a specific article, so Find It drops you off at the table of contents or the home page of the journal. You can then navigate the journal's page to get to the article you want.

I want to find a particular article, but I don't have all the information. Can I use Find It to help me locate it?

Yes, you can use Find It. Fill in the complete journal title (no truncation allowed) and provide the date and any other information you have about a particular article. The Find It menu will provide you with the options for getting the article. You can also use Find It to check whether we have a journal available online.

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When I click on an option in the Find It menu, nothing happens. Why?

If you have multiple browser windows open, the page you are linking to may be hidden behind another window. Also, certain websites require you to acknowledge a pop-up message before continuing; sometimes, this pop-up box is hiding behind the Find It menu.

In either case, Windows users can press Alt-Tab (or use the MS Windows Tool Bar) to display the other browser window. Macintosh OS users can use Command-Tab.

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Can I use Find It from home?

Yes. You must have a currently valid UW-Madison ID. Some resources are not available from off campus, however.

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Do I have to disable my popup blocking software to use Find It?

Find It uses the 'open a new window' command in all browsers, which is different from an 'open a popup window' command. When you click on the Find It button, a menu of services is opened. When you select a service from the menu window, a third window opens and displays the results of your request. Browsers are inconsistent in their interpretation of these two commands and sometimes popup blocking software blocks the wrong type of window.

To avoid this problem, we recommend disabling any popup blocking software you may be running when using the Find It service. If your popup blocker software allows you to specify a domain for which popups are acceptable, you may wish to add to the list. This should help eliminate any inconsistencies browsers might face when opening the various Find It windows. Please refer to help files associated with your popup blocking software for further information about this feature.

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What is a PMID? What is a DOI?

PMID is an acronym for PubMed Identifier or more specifically PubMed Unique Identifier which is a unique number assigned to each PubMed citation of life sciences and biomedical scientific journal articles. You can search Find It using a PMID.

DOI is an acronym for digital object identifier and is a permanent identifier given to a World Wide Web file or other Internet document so that if its Internet address changes, users will be redirected to its new address. A publisher submits a DOI to a centrally-managed directory and then uses the address of that directory plus the DOI instead of a regular Internet address.

You can search Find It using a DOI by using the "More Options" tab.

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More Help

There are a number of ways to get help from a librarian. Go to to find the best way for you. You can also use if you have a question about Find It and we'll get a response to you as soon as possible.

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