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Family Medicine

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 or Google Scholar in particular;

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

  • I have usually exported my records to EndNote, so 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 in EndNote

If that doesn't work or you don't use EndNote:

  • I do a quick Google Scholar search http://scholar.google.ca 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
  • If that doesn’t work, I copy and paste the journal title (rather than the article title, although the article title can work too) into the McGill WorldCat Catalogue available at http://www.mcgill.ca/library
    • I often use quotations around the journal title for more precise results
    • I recommend using the full journal title over the abbreviated format
    • I often limit the results by format in the left-hand column to Journal/Magazine
    • When I find the right journal record, I click on “Access journal" and select a link that covers the date I am looking for
      • For e-access, I might have to click on a few links before getting to the right place: Pay particular attention to the information about the time coverage available for each electronic source to avoid unnecessary clicking
      • If it’s not available online, I check our print holdings in all relevant records for the journal; if it is only available in print at McGill, I click on “Place hold or request article/chapter scan” (be sure to fill in the citation information for the article or chapter in the item description field), or, if the article is in a journal that's on open shelves, I can go make a copy of it in person
  • If it’s seemingly not available at McGill:

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