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Library DIY

Self-help Guide for Navigating the Library

A website asked me to pay for an article.

If you’re asked online to pay for an article, DON’T! The Berntsen Library can get you the article for free, either through our full text access or through interlibrary loan.

To check whether the library has access to the article, or whether you will need to request that article through interlibrary loan, follow these steps.

1. Search Library Search.

Most of our articles can be found in Library Search. It is usually easiest to search by title; if you know you have the exact title use quotation marks around it. It may help to add the author's name if you are doing a general keyword search.

2. Search Google Scholar.

If you can't locate the item in Library Search, try Google Scholar. If have added University of Northwestern - St. Paul to your Google Scholar Library Links, look for the Full Text via UNWSP to the right of the article title. 


3. Search in Library Search for the publication in which the article appeared.

If you don't find the article in Library Search or Google Scholar, but you know the journal title or other publication title in which the article appeared (different from the article title), search for the publication title in Library Search. If you locate the publication, you can then search within it for the article.

  • In Library Search there may be mulitiple versions of the journal - some may be available electronically, and others may be available only in print. The catalog records will indicate where the journal is located (e.g. through an online resource or in a library collection).
  • When you locate the journal title, look in the catalog record for the publication dates for which the journal is available. Be sure the publication date of your article matches with the publication years listed in Library Search.
  • Access the relevant journal issue and navigate to the article you need. If you're accessing the article electronically and don't see the full text immediately, look for a "search within this publication" link and search for the article title..  

4. If we do not have the article in our online or print collections, request it through interlibrary loan. Do not pay for individual articles - you are already paying for access with your tuition!

Questions? Ask a Librarian!