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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Retrieving Articles at UIUC Library: Introduction

This guide will inform you of the various ways that journal and other periodical articles available through our Library resources are retrieved.



As with many things, there is more than one way to get to the same place. Finding journal articles is no different. This guide will inform you of the various ways that journal and other periodical articles available through our Library resources are retrieved.


Electronic periodical articles and other types of full text materials are available with the same constraints that print periodical content is available. That is to say, some of it may be free (such as "open source" publications), but at this time most of it is available through fee-based subscriptions. Periodicals take a great deal of time and expense to produce, index, and distribute. Whether delivered through open source outlets or subscription vendor products, costs are incurred – they are just borne in different ways. Most of the resources, including periodical content, available through Library resources are available to you courtesy of the taxpayers of Illinois.

In addition to print journal subscriptions, the Library subscribes to individual electronic periodical titles, as well as packages of electronic journal titles. Electronic versions may be accessed directly through a link to the journal title, or from within bibliographic databases via a "link-resolver" software that connects our electronic subscriptions to records in our bibliographic databases so that you can access the article itself directly. Some bibliographic databases provide the full text of selected periodicals along with the indexed citation records. At times you may even find the full text of the article is provided both ways!  Note: Over time as e-versions have become more available and reliable, more and more of our journal subscriptions have been switched to the e-versions only.

Anyone in one of our UIUC campus libraries or with a UIUC campus IP address can access electronic content via our bibliographic resources for free. Due to electronic resources licensing agreements, these resources are restricted to UIUC students, faculty, and students, and netIDs and passwords are needed to access them from off-campus computers.

The Library of the Health Sciences-Urbana serves the UIC Colleges of Medicine and Nursing at Urbana. The medical collection is available to UIC medical students only and can be found at the Carle Forum in the Masley Resource Center, 611 W Park St, Urbana. The nursing collection can be found on the second floor (west) at 470 Grainger Engineering Library Information Center, 1301 W. Springfield Ave. Contact Ryan Rafferty, UIC Regional Health Sciences Librarian,, for assistance.


The above background is to give you an idea of how complicated the access to periodical content can be and why there are a number of ways to retrieve articles that you have identified for use – but not to fret! Whether you need electronic or print articles, there are ways to retrieve them in an (almost) straightforward way. See below for how to do this, or feel free to Ask A Librarian for assistance.

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Urbana, IL 61801
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