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Mat-Su College: Paramedical Technology

A guide for students taking PMED courses at Mat-Su College and other UAA campuses.

Why you shouldn't ever click "Limit to Full Text"

Most databases include an option in the search results page along the lines of "Limit to Full Text":

Screenshot of the Limit to Full Text placement in CINAHL

It may seem like a good idea to turn this on. Don't. It is bad.

A database doesn't really exist to show you full articles. It exists to show you article citations, i.e., details of articles. Most databases have the full text for only some of these articles. If you click "Limit to Full Text" you might miss the best search results.

For articles whose full text is not available with a "PDF full text" link, just click the "Check Library for Full Text" button. In most cases this brings you to a database that does have the full text of the article.

Sometimes, you will get a message saying that the item is not available online through the library:

Screenshot of message saying item is not available online

But that's okay! Just make a note of the article title, its author, the journal it appeared in, the date, and the pages -- basically, what you see right there on the screen. Then go to the Mat-Su College Library website and click the "Interlibrary Loan" link:

MSC library page with Interlibrary Loan hilighted

At the Interlibrary Loan page, just fill out the form for requesting a journal article. We'll find a library with a print copy, we'll have them scan it and email it to us, we'll print it out for you, and then we'll let you know it's ready. This is a free and fast service. It gives you access to just about any journal article you could ever want.