Find Articles

This page will provide help finding articles in the UW-Madison Libraries databases. If you are ready to search for articles, please visit the Articles Search page.
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Searching Within Databases

The UW-Madison Libraries subscribe to hundreds of databases. Although databases may present different interfaces, they often share common features and functionality.

Starting a Search

  • When searching an article database, you will get the best results by:
    • Combining concepts with “AND” in the search bar.
    • Using the database search limits. Most article databases have advanced search features that help specify your search results. You can often limit by:
      • Source Type
      • Publication Date
      • Subject
      • Language
      • Geography
      • And more…

Selecting an Article

  • Clicking on an article title in a search results list will take you to the article record. The article record provides useful article information and tools such as:
    • Subject terms, which are useful for finding articles on similar topics.
    • Abstracts, which summarizes the article.
    • Citation tools, which produce formatted citations in multiple styles.
    • Export tools, which send article information to a citation manager.

Reading an Article

  • If you want to read an article, you will need to look for a link or button that says “Full Text,” “HTML Full Text,” “PDF Full Text” or something similar. These links will take you directly to the article.
  • If there is not a link to the full text, you will want to look for a red “Find It” button. Clicking this button searches all of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries databases for availability elsewhere.
    • If the full text is available online, you will see the option to get full text.
    • If it is not available online, click on the “Look for Print and Other Formats in the Library Catalog” under “Additional Options” to see if the Libraries have a print copy.
    • OR you can “Request a Copy” of the article through Interlibrary Loan.

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Database Search Strategies

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Finding a Specific Article

Individual articles are not indexed in the library catalog, but you can locate the journal title from the citation you are using.

Locate the Journal

  • In the Libraries website, select Journals from the drop-down menu by the search box, then click on Citation Search. Add the journal title to the search box and hit Enter or Return on your keyboard to search. If you prefer, you can enter a DOI or Pubmed ID instead of the title.
  • Locate your journal title from the available options and click the title to view options. Under Online Access, select the database that includes the year from your citation.

Access the Article

  • Locate your article by either browsing for your volume and issue, or by searching for the article title within the database’s journal record page.
  • Once you locate your article, look for PDF full text or Find It at UW-Madison. If full text in is unavailable, you may look for a print version or place a request for the article through Interlibrary Loan.

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Finding a Specific Journal

You can search for known journal titles by using the “Journal” search option via the library homepage.

Known Journal Title Search

  • Type the name of the journal in the search box and press “Enter” on your keyboard.
  • In the results, click on the name of the journal you’d like to look at. You’ll see both physical and electronic access options in the record.

Browsing Journal Holdings

  • You can browse journal titles by using the “Journal” search option via the library homepage.
  • Type in your keywords in the journal search box and press “Enter” on your keyboard.
  • In the results, you can browse by a variety of limiters:
    • Library location
    • Formats
    • Subject Headings
    • Authors
    • Languages
    • Geographic Subjects

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Locating Article Databases

The UW-Madison Libraries subscribes to hundreds of databases that you can search by name or by subject/topic.

Searching for a Database by Name

  • Navigate to the UW-Madison Libraries homepage.
    • Click the red “Catalog” button on the left side of the page. This will open a drop-down menu.
    • Your desired article database into the search box and hit ENTER on your keyboard.
    • When you receive the list of results, click the name of the article database. The database will open in the same browser window.

Searching for a Database by Topic

  • Navigate to the UW-Madison Libraries homepage.
    • Click the red “Catalog” button on the left side of the page. This will open a drop-down menu.
    • Select “Databases” from the drop-down menu.
    • Click the “Browse by Subject/Type” link under the search bar.
    • From the large list of subject areas, select an area that fits your research question.
  • Each subject area page contains a list of many article databases. These are divided into Core Databases, which contain information specific to the subject area, and Also Helpful Databases, which are less specific but related to the subject area.
  • To learn more about a database, click the blue “i” button to the right of the database name. This will show you the database’s covered subject areas, time span, and the types of materials contained within the database.
  • To enter the database, click its name on the database list.

To find the best database for you, watch the video below:

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Using a Citation to Get an Article

To find the full text of an article, if you already know the full citation or title, watch the video below:

Using Google Scholar with Your UW-Madison NetID

Google Scholar is a free database offered through Google. Unlike Google, it does not search for websites, blogs, news sources or other web materials. It exclusively searches for scholarly materials, which can include journal articles, books, patents, and case law.

Google Scholar

  • While Google Scholar will search for free, it does not provide free access to all materials. When you are on campus, you can usually read the full text of most of the articles. However, when you are off campus, you may be asked to pay for access to certain articles.
  • The UW-Madison Libraries pay subscription fees to hundreds of journal publishers so that you can use their articles. In order to avoid paying for articles you find on Google Scholar, you need to let the database know that you are affiliated with UW-Madison.
  • To login to Google Scholar:
    • On the library homepage, click on the “Top 10 Databases” link to the right of the search bar.
    • Select Google Scholar from the list.
    • You will be prompted to sign in with your NetID and password.
  • Once you have logged in, you will be redirected to the Google Scholar search interface.
  • After running a search, you will see a “Find It at UW-Madison” link to the right of each article. You can use this link to access the full text of the article through UW-Madison or, if the article is not available online, to place an InterLibrary Loan request for the article.

You can use Google Scholar through the UW-Madison Libraries website to find articles and avoid paywalls. To find out how to search Google Scholar this way, watch the video below:

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Using the Articles Search

To search millions of articles licensed by UW-Madison all at the same time, go to the library homepage and choose Articles from the drop-down menu. You can search by topic search terms or a specific title.

Finding the Full Text of an Article in Article Search

To find the full text of an article in Article Search, click on the “View It” link.

  • If we have the article full text online, the next screen will say Full Text Available At: and then the link to the database through which we have licensed the full text.
  • If the next screen says No Full Text Available, you can still get access to this article, by clicking on the Request a Copy link. UW-Madison Libraries will purchase online access for you at no cost to you.

Searching our Comprehensive List of Databases

Although Articles Search covers many resources, UW-Madison Libraries have licensed many other databases and millions of other articles that are not searched here. The Browse by “Subject/Type” link will take you to a comprehensive list of databases licensed by UW-Madison.
You can quickly search hundreds of millions of articles simultaneously by using the articles search box. To learn how to use this search, watch the video below:

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