Verify If Source Has a Print Equivalent

Your assignment may require you to use a source that is in print or has an electronic version of the printed source. Follow the steps below to determine if your source fulfills these requirements.

How Do I Know if My Source is in Print? 

Step 1: Locate the Publication Information

Printed sources will have certain types of publication information that electronic sources may not. Look for the following to help determine if your source has a print equivalent:

  1. Source
  2. Volume and/or issue number
  3. Page numbers
  4. Publication date
  5. Author information

Step 2: Use Library Resources to Find Publication

Search for an article in a library database, or use the other resources listed to locate your publication.

Library Databases

Using databases such as Academic Search Ultimate or Access World News will ensure that any source you find is published, meaning it has a print equivalent.


Access information about newspapers, magazines, and journals published throughout the world, covering all subjects.

  1. Enter your journal or newspaper title (not the article title) in the search box.
  2. Look to see if your source lists a publisher. This can be either a database or the name of the company.
  3. Verify that the status is “active.” If yours does not have an active status, the newspaper or journal may no longer be publishing.
  4. Check the serial type. You’ll want something that is a magazine, newspaper, or journal.

Note: Ulrich’s will tell you if a source is in print, but not if your specific article is in print. To verify this, search library databases for the specific article. You can start with the databases mentioned above.

University of Illinois Library Newspaper Database

Often you will find newspaper articles on the internet through credible sources such as the New York Times. Just because you find it on a newspaper’s website does not mean that every article has a print version. Use this database for electronic access to print newspapers from the United States, ranging from local to national.

  1. Enter your newspaper title (not the article title) in the search box.
  2. You can specify the year to make sure you are finding recent issues.
  3. You will see the name of the newspaper, available formats, place of publication, and available dates.
  4. Click on the format link next to date range that best fits your needs. “Online” means U of I students have on- and off-campus access.
  5. Choose a database. Make sure to check the date range.
  6. Once in the database, you can search for your specific article.

Note: Some newspapers and magazines delay online access for anywhere between one day and several weeks. If you’re looking for something very recent, you may need to find the print copies, which are available at different libraries across campus.