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Political Science: Finding the full text

You may use this guide as a starting point for your research in Political Science, Comparative Politics or International Relations.

Finding Full Text Articles

There are two situations when you may be looking for full-text articles:

  1. when you have a citation and want to find the article itself, and
  2. when you have a topic and you’re searching the databases for full-text articles.

Citation Searching

If you have a citation (author, journal/magazine title, year, etc.), there are several ways to determine if UCF provides access to the full-text of the article. The availability of the full-text of electronic articles is constantly changing, so try a number of these different methods of checking before deciding to use Interlibrary Loan or giving up. See the section of this module on Interlibrary Loan for information about ordering an electronic copy of the article from another library.

Check the UCF Online Journal Subscriptions

To successfully use the Online Journals feature, you must be connected directly to UCF or have the EZProxy activated.

From the UCF Library Home Page, click on Online Journals.

Enter the title of a specific journal and click Search to see if it is available electronically.

Click on the title of the journal. On the next screen, you can click on Full Text Options, you will see a list of databases that may provide the full text of your article. Click on a database name. From here you can  Search Within This Publication with the article title OR click on the appropriate year range, click on the year, then click on the Volume #. The information about the article, such as year, volume, issue and/or pages will appear. Scroll the table of contents of the journal for the title of your article.

To see all available online journals, click on Online Journals and choose a letter to browse journal titles. 

Check the UCF Library Catalog

From the UCF Library Home Page, click on Articles.

Type in the journal name. Search.

Articles will be shown that fit either all or part of your journal name. Use the left hand column to limit the search. You'll find the Scholarly Journals/Peer Reviewed as one of the choices. Scan the rest and use what fits your search topic. Include other search terms in the boxes at the top. Then Search again.

If found, look at the record to see if an electronic version is available and click on the hypertext link. If the source of the full-text article requires it, you must be connected directly to UCF or through EZProxy first for the hypertext link to work (see section of this module on Remote Access). 

Check the Journal’s Internet Web Site

A publisher will sometimes provide full-text to a journal or to selected articles. UCF may also have full-text privileges from a journal’s web site and the information has not yet been entered into the catalog or online journal subscription list.

Use an Internet search engine (e.g., Google, Yahoo, etc) to search for the journal title or the complete citation. 

Database Searching

Library databases are organized collections of information that the library pays for and that can be accessed online. You must be connected directly to UCF or have the EZProxy activated to search a database.

When you are searching databases for a topic, and want to find articles available electronically in full-text, there are a number of features you might want to investigate that are provided by databases.

From the UCF Library page click on Databases. You can access the databases either alphabetically or by subject.

Databases often provide options to limit your search. See the section of the module on Search Strategies. Limiting your search to “full-text only” is never recommended. The full text of many articles will be available to you by using the "Get Full Text" icon. Limiting your search to “full-text only” will, ironically, eliminate many articles available online.

Sometimes you can link to full-text articles within the database. Click on any links that say HTML full-text or PDF full-text. If you do not see a full-text option, click on the "Get Full Text" icon.

The “Get Full Text” icon is a bridge from the database you are in to other resources that the UCF Library buys that contain full-text articles. When you click on this icon, you are linking to any other resources that provide the full-text of the article of interest. Please note that the “Get Full Text” icon does not guarantee that full-text is available; it simply means that the option to search for full-text is available. Also, when you limit a search to “full-text only” in a database, you will be excluding all full-text articles available in other UCF Library databases. Hence, the warning: Never limit your search to “full-text only”! Use the “Get Full Text” to find the full text!