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Find an Article Without a Citation

Quick Help

Try Easy Search first. On the results page, look for article matches. 

You can also search for the journal using the Online Journals & Databases tool. Once you have accessed the correct journal, search within it for the title of your article.

If all else fails, try using Google Scholar to track down what you need. 
Sometimes we only have a snippet of information to track down a full citation. Even if you only have pieces of a citation, you can still use the Library's tools to help you track down what you need. And since librarians are experts at tracking down items that are difficult to find, please ask if you need help.

Use the Easy Search tool 

  1. To locate an article you do not have the full citation for, the quickest strategy is to type the article title into the "Easy Search" box on the Main Library's homepage. Consider also using the drop-down menu to choose a specific subject area to include in the search. Easy Search searches across multiple databases that are subscribed to by the Library.  Easy Search isn't always a silver bullet, but given its wide searching range it can be a very valuable tool.

    Screenshot of Library homepage with article title in Easy Search bar and "Business" as field limit.

    As an example, we are going to search for the article "Getting the ball rolling: Beginning an assessment program on your campus" by C. Wehlburg. This article was published in Accounting Education News.

  2. Frequently, Easy Search will lead you directly to an online version of the correct article.

    search result

    Tip 1: If you are finding more than one result, try using the drop-down menu to specify that you are looking for the title. You can also retry the search using the author's name and specifying "author" in the drop-down menu.

    limit the search

    Tip 2: Be sure to look at the bottom of the page for Google Scholar results as well.

    google scholar

Use the Online Journals & Databases tool

There are times when using Easy Search to find an article does not work for various reasons. Fortunately, there are other ways to locate journal articles.

  1. One of these is to use the Online Journals & Databases tool found on the Main Library's homepage. For this search, you will need to know the title of the journal the article was published in and the title of the article.

    Without a citation 2

  2. Type the journal title into the search box of the Online Journals & Databases tool. If you recall from above, the journal title we are looking for is Accounting Education News. Choose "starts with" if you know the exact title and "contains" if you only know some of the words in the journal title.

    search journal titles

  3. You can further refine your search by choosing the "More Options" tab. This allows you to search by ISSN if you know it, choose the vendor of the journal you are looking for (the organization or company that produces the journal), or choose the discipline related to the journal.

    If you try to search by subject, keep in mind that not all journals and databases in the Online Journals & Databases tool have been labeled (as of this writing). Thus, if you choose a subject or vendor and your search does not work, switch back to the basic "Title" tab for a more comprehensive search.

    more options tab

  4. For this search, you are going to look for just the journal title. Go back to the "Title" tab and search for Accounting Education News.

    Be sure to pay attention to the dates each link covers. It is common for a database to only contain certain years of a journal title. For example, in this search, EBSCOhost Business Source Complete only contains volumes of this journal from the years 2004 to 2007. ProQuest ABI Inform Complete contains articles from 1993 on.

    We do not have the date of the article we are searching for, so choose ProQuest ABI Inform Complete because it covers the broadest range of dates.

    Online Journals and Databases results

  5. A Discover pop-up window will open. Click on "Go" to continue.

    Online Journals and Databases search

    Note: If you are not using a campus computer, you will be asked to sign in before you can access any of the article results. Do so using your NetID and Active Directory password. If you have forgotten either of these, visit the Cites Password Manager.

  6. Every database and journal page will be different. Somewhere on each one there should be a search box where you can type in the title of the article or the name of the author. On this page, type "Getting the ball rolling: Beginning an assessment program on your campus" into the search box to find the article.

    Proquest search

  7. That search found the full-text of the correct article!

    Most databases offer a variety of features intended to make your research simpler. Be sure to look for pdf versions of the article that you can download, a way to export a full citation of the article to a citation management tool, the option to email yourself a copy of the article, and more.

    Proquest citation

If all else fails, try using Google Scholar to track down what you need. 

Check out some of our other tutorials: