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Mat-Su College: Writing

A guide for students taking Writing, particularly Writing 111, at Mat-Su College.

What does finding an article from a citation mean?

As you read scholarly articles, you'll see that the authors mention many other articles. Some of these mentioned articles might even better match your topic than the article you're reading. Good news! Whenever a scholarly article mentions another article, they give you all the information you need to find it.

Start with the in-text citation

Imagine you are reading an article on the health effects of chocolate. You come to a sentence where the author mentions a past article that interests you: "In one study, subjects received one of three doses of flavanols on the day of tests (Scholey et al., 2010) ..."

How can you find more information on this study? Your first clue is in the in-text citation: (Scholey et al. 2010).

But this isn't much information. It's just a name and a year. That's okay. The in-text citation's only job is to help us find the full citation in the works cited section (also called a bibliography).

Move on to the works cited citations

Each in-text citation points to a full citation in the Works Cited or Bibliography section. A works cited section with Scholey's article highlighted looks like this (the name of the journal is highlighted separately):

Screenshot of journal article's Works Cited section

We know that this is what the in-text citation refers to because it is the only one for Scholey. If there was more than one Scholey article listed, we would want to look for the one whose date matches the date in the in-text citation.

Now we have enough information to track down the article.

The quick way to find an article from a citation

Sometimes we can find an article just by typing its name its author into the QuickSearch search box on the library website:

Screenshot of "Consumption of Cocoa Flavanols" typed into QuickSearch search box

Then click the title in the search results

Screenshot of QuickSearch search results showing Scholey article

Another way to find an article from a citation

Sometimes the article you wish to find will not be available through QuickSearch. In these cases you can use the library's Citation Linker tool.

Start by clicking "Journals by Title" on the library website:

Journals by title link

Next, click Screenshot of citation matcher button"Citation Linker":

Screenshot highlighting "Citation linker" link on journals page

At the Citation Matcher page, enter the details of the article you want and press "Find it":
Screenshot of citation linker interface

If the library has access to the article you search for in this way, you should be brought straight to it.

If all else fails...

If Citation Matcher can't find your article, it means that we do not have online access to it. But don't give up. Using our Interlibrary Loan service, you can request a copy of the article. We'll work out how to get it for you. This service is free, fast, and greatly expands the amount of material you have access to. (You can use it for more than just articles, too!)

To request an article that you can't find through the library, just click the Interlibrary Loan button near the bottom of the library website:

MSC library page with an arrow pointing to Interlibrary Loan link

Now just fill out the appropriate form, click submit, and wait for a phone call telling you your item is in! For more information about Interlibrary Loan or the status of your request please contact the library.