March 28th, 2013

How do I find an article without the full citation?

Have you ever read a blog post or news story about a research study that interests you enough that you would like to read the actual study, but the article doesn’t give the full citation? How do you go about finding the study?

Recently, I came across an article from The Telegraph about how to get rid of earworms (songs that are stuck in your head – not actual animals) titled “Get that tune out of your head – scientists find how to get rid of earworms“. While it gives a nice summary of the research, I wanted to see if I could read the actual research article.

The first thing to do would be to look for clues within the article – does it say which journal the research was published in, or does it quote one of the authors of the study? This article did quote the one of the authors of the study, so I started there.

First I went to Google Scholar ( to do an advanced search for articles written by this author:


Enter all of the information you have into the advanced search boxes. In this case, all we have is the author name.


This author has a user profile in Google Scholar, so I clicked that to find out more.


The user profile had a list of all of this author’s articles. I looked for one with a title that looked similar to the earworm topic and clicked it.


This came up with additional information about the article, however, I still need the volume and issue numbers of when this article was published, so I clicked the title again to see if it would bring up more information.


This brought me to the publisher’s web site, which shows the full citation for the article. Make sure to pay attention to the volume and issue numbers, rather than article published online date. Some articles are available online for purchase before publication, but in most instances if we want to see if the article is in our library, we will need to know when it was actually published.


Now, we can use the Journal and Book Locator tool to see if the article is available in our library. First, go to the Library Home page and click the Journals tab. Type the title of the journal into the search box and search.


If a record is returned in this search, that means we do have the journal available in our library, however, we will need to check the dates it is available to make sure we have access to the article.


Unfortunately, in this case, the article is not available as our subscription goes up to 1 year ago, so we do not have access to articles from this journal from within the past year.

However, our search does not have to end here. If you find an article that we do not have in our library, but still want, you have the option of requesting it through Interlibrary Loan and we can check if it is available from another library. You can request up to 25 items per quarter from Interlibrary Loan. Please see the Interlibrary Loan Guide for additional information on this service.


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