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Graduate Students' Guide to the Library: Locate Items from Citations

Graduate students have specialized research needs. This guide provides tips and tricks for getting started, but we also recommend that you get to know your subject librarian for in-depth questions and support.

Locate a Publication from a Citation

When researching a question, it is common to find citations to additional references in articles, books and other publications that you read.  Or you may come across a mention of a publication on a website and wish to determine whether it is available in the UW library collection.  To locate a publication from a citation, first identify the format of the publication from the information presented in the citation.  For example, is it a book, journal or periodical article, or conference proceedings?  The format will help determine where to start your search process.

A journal or periodical article will include a title of the article as well as a title of the publication source, that is, the journal or periodical name.  Citations for journal articles typically (but not always) list a volume number after the journal title and a range of page numbers.  Electronic versions may include a DOI (digital object identifier) number or a URL.

Locate an Article by its Title

One way to locate an journal or periodical article is to do a search for the title in the QuickSearch box on the UW libraries' home page.  Place the article title in double quotation marks to search as an exact phrase (to reduce the number of false hits in the results list).  You may only need to search on the first few words if the title appears to be fairly unique.  Omit any subtitles (i.e., words following a colon) as those words do not always get indexed as part of the title in the article record (i.e., in the metadata). 


QuickSearch box

If you are unable to locate the article using this approach, try searching for the journal title and/or article using the eJournal search method.  If it appears that the UW Libraries' collection does not include the desired article/journal, an InterLibrary Loan request can be submitted.

Locate a Book by it Title

Do a search in QuickSearch to quickly locate a print book, eBook, video or similar resource by its title. Enter the book title in double quotation marks in the QuickSearch box on the UW Libraries home page.  Omit any subtitles and click on the magnifying glass icon.



Browzine E-Journal Search

Browzine engineering menu

Locate an eJournal by its Title

An alternative approach for locating articles in eJournals is to first locate the eJournal by its title, then look up the specific article.  Locating an eJournal is also a way to be able to browse contents of issues, or to initiate search for articles in only that journal title.

From the UW Libraries' home page,

Step 1. - click the "eJournals & eBooks" tab. 

Step 2. - Select the "eJournals & eBooks" button from the page that opens.

Step 3. - Select the eJournals radio button and type the journal title (without quotation marks) into the search bar, then click the "Search" button.  eJournal titles can also be searched alphabetically or by subject category (such as "Engineering and Applied Sciences") but the results lists tend to be lengthy.

Step 4 - The result screen will provide options for navigating to the journal resource.  Note the date ranges included in the collections and click the link for the appropriate choice.  Also note that older volumes and publication dates may only be available in print format.  Clicking the link to the UW Print Collection will open the catalog record with information about the call number and library location.

Step 5 - If you have citation information for a specific article, you can navigate there more directly by using the "Look up Article" link, which takes you to the "Citation Finder" menu.  Enter the information you have, such as date (year), volume, or initial page number.  Note that there is a field available to locate an article directly by entering its DOI (digital object identifier) number, if known.  (Note: Articles can often be found this way even with incomplete citation information.)