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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

American Literature: Journal Articles

A guide to American Literature tools and resources.

Finding Articles

Image result for pointing finger medievalStep One: Finding your database

You have a research topic and now you need a relevant database to search. To do this just turn to one of the side boxes for lists of relevant databases.  Remember - if one database isn't giving you the results you want, feel free to switch to another database.

Step Two: Finding online articles

There are three ways to find online articles:

  1. Directly through a database, which will provide a link to online articles through the Library's Discover Full Text (Note: it's in a blue box).
  2. Through one of the Library's online catalogs: VU Find Catalog or Classic Search.
  3. Not all online journals can be found in a database or the online catalog. To find them, search the Library's Online Journals and Databases by title of the journal. Please note this site only lets you search for journals and not individual articles.
What if my article is not available online in full-text?

Step Three: Finding print articles

Not everything is available in electronic format. Keep your citation (name of journal, volume, and issue) handy. Now search the Library's online catalog for the location of the print journal.There are two ways to search the online catalog.

  1. Through the new VU Find Catalog.
  2. Through the Classic Search.

Look to see which library holds the issue or volume that you need and jot down the location and call number. Now you need to visit a departmental library to make a photocopy. There are a number of scanners in the Library. Many are located in Room 200 and the Main Stacks.

What if the library doesn't have an article?

Step Four: Interlibrary Loan

If your article is not available in full-text online and it is not available in print, you can request the article through Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery. Make sure to choose "Request a photocopy" and fill out the entire form, including the source of the citation. This process typically takes 7-10 days, so plan ahead! Interlibrary Loan will most likely deliver your article as a .pdf file to your email address.