How do I… request a journal article?


Welcome to our series where we demystify the answers to popular questions from the past week.

This week we’re finding out…

Q. How do I request a journal article?

A. First of all, make sure you’ve thoroughly checked to make sure we definitely don’t have it! Log onto iCity and go to our Find Resources page:

  • Search Summon for the article title – if it says ‘Full Text’ then follow the link, if it says ‘Citation online’ then this isn’t available through our subscription
  • Search the Catalogue for the journal title – this will tell you if we take the journal in paper or electronic form
  • Use the A-Z of Resources to search a particular database – whilst many of our databases are searched via Summon, some are not. If you’re looking for a law article, for example, you might want to try both Lexis and Westlaw.

If you can’t access the journal via the above methods then you might want to try searching for the article title via your preferred search engine – occasionally you might find it is held in an open access repository and is free to download from the internet.

Nope – I’ve checked and I still can’t get access to this article!

We will try and get hold of it for you. Go back to the Find Resources page linked above, and click the ‘Inter-Library Loans’ option on the left-hand side. From here you can request the article via the inter-library loans system. This can take a number of days or even weeks depending on the number of requests we have in our system and how easy it is to obtain the article. If you need resources last-minute for an assignment, try a ‘full text only’ search in Summon or individual databases to access materials immediately.

You can search for the answers to more Frequently Asked Questions on our Library Help site.