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Getting that article you need right this second

I will save a rant about my frustrations with end-user library systems for a future post. For now, I’ll stick with staying positive. This post describes the process my lovely reference librarian friends have helped me establish for identifying, locating, and downloading electronic versions of articles I really want to read. It’s cold and snowy in Michigan, parking near central campus is a nightmare, and I just don’t want to wait for physical copies to come to north campus. I want my articles now!

Ok, anyway, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. A Google Scholar window
  2. A UM SearchTools window
  3. (if you’re off campus) A CoSign session so you can access the library’s UM-only resources. Login at http://weblogin.umich.edu

And here’s what you do:

  1. Use Google Scholar to search for an article on a specific topic (ex. social capital)
  2. Click on an article title to get the details page; make sure you can tell from the details where it was published and when
  3. In SearchTools, click “Find e-Journals
  4. Search for the publication that published the article you want (ex. Academy of Management Review)
  5. Click on the journal in your search results
  6. Use one of the online databases to “browse” for your article using the volume, number, date, pages, etc. information from the Google Scholar results (I use Proquest ABI/INFORM if it’s available; it’s the easiest one to browse and offers HTML text and PDF view options.)

Tada! You can have that article right now. Well, unless you, like I was, are looking for an Academy of Management article from 2002. We don’t have those online apparently. Argh. I’ll have to go out in the cold.


One Comment

  • Molly Kleinman |

    The University of Michigan LibX Toolbar for Firefox makes your search process even a little bit easier. It hasn’t been widely publicized, maybe because it’s considered experimental, but it’s great, and I use it a lot.

    Once you’ve installed it, the LibX toolbar includes links to Library resources in every web page you look at. It’s especially good in Google scholar – it puts a maize and blue “M Get It” button next to all the scholarly articles in your results list. Clicking that button takes you straight to a list of available databases to which the library subscribes that include the article. No need for a separate SearchTools window.

    LibX has a number of other features as well, and I highly recommend checking it out.

So, what do you think ?

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