How do I find an article if I have the citation?

Watch this two-minute video that shows you how to find an article if you already have the citation. Or, scroll down to read instructions.

Sometimes you will have the citation information for an article, whether you found it in the bibliography of another article, or a classmate or professor gave it to you. How do you find the article with this information?

Let's use this example citation to explain the steps you'll need to follow to find the article:

Greenberg, A. (2001). Race, religiosity, and the women's vote. Women & Politics, 22(3), 59-82.

  1. Find the journal.
    1. Citations should have the name of the journal that the article was published in. In the example above, the article was published in Women & Politics.
    2. Search in the "Journals" tab on the library's homepage for the journal name. The next page will show you if the journal is available through the library.
    3. If we have the journal, move on to step 2. If we do not, you'll need to request this article through Interlibrary Loan. Articles arrive within 2-5 business days.

  2. Find the publication date, correct volume and issue numbers.
    1. In the citation example above, the article was published in 2001, volume 22, issue 3.
    2. In the results from the journal search in step 1, you'll see a list of the dates the journal is available to you. Sometimes the journal will be available in an online database in a specific date range, and available in print in another date range. Using this information, determine where your article is available.
    3. If the article is available in the date range available, move on to step 3. If you we do not have the journal for the date when the article was published, request the article through Interlibrary loan.

  3. Find the article.
    1. If the article is available online, click on the link that brings you to the database or website. From here, search for the article title or browse to the correct volume and issue number.
    2. If the article is available in print, click on "Fairfield University Print Holdings." Some journals are available in print, others in microform or microfilm. Once you determine the format, head to the lower level of the library where the journals and microfilm/microform are available.

Still need help? Ask a librarian.