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Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Finding full text

Finding full text

Here are the steps I usually take when tracking down full-text articles. 

First, I like to perform these steps with VPN running in the background if off campus, for Google in particular;

I use EndNote to collect my references (or other citation management software, if the option is available):

  • Given I have usually exported my records to EndNote, I use the Find Full Text feature in EndNote to automatically download as many full-text articles to my EndNote library as I can (usually in batches no greater than 20, but that's just a suggestion); they get added to the .Data folder but I don't usually access that folder as the article can be viewed and annotated directly from the EndNote reference
    • You can configure file naming conventions for your .Data PDF folder so that they're easier to identify, if you ever want to go in there and make a copy of a PDF, for example (otherwise, the PDFs are very hard to identify): Go to Preferences > PDF Handling and change the PDF Auto Renaming Options
  • Instructions on setting up Find Full Text

If that doesn't work:

  • I do a quick Google Scholar search for the article title and see if I can quickly get to full-text that way (I need to be using VPN for this to work well if off campus, or at least need to set up Google Scholar with “Find full text” links--works with or without a Google account:; if that doesn’t work:
  • I copy and paste the journal title (rather than the article title) into the McGill WorldCat catalogue available at (you can use quotations around the journal title for more precise results; best to use the full journal title over the abbreviated format) and check availability of the journal title through McGill (you can limit by format in the left-hand column to Journal/Magazine > then when you get the right journal record look at “view now” for e-access info followed by “availability” information if we don’t have it online); for e-access, you might have to click on a few URLs before getting to the right place; pay particular attention to the information about the time coverage available at McGill); if it’s not available online, it may be available in print:
  • Even if I don't get any results in the McGill WorldCat catalogue, I check the Classic Catalogue available at to make sure we really don't have the journal in print. To get articles that are available at McGill only in print, you can request a scanned copy of an article through the catalogue. The instructions can be found here:
  • If it’s seemingly not available at McGill:


Genevieve Gore's picture
Genevieve Gore
Schulich Library of Science & Engineering
Website Skype Contact: genatlibrary

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