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MSE 280 - Introduction to Materials Characterization

Resources for MSE280 class assignments and projects

Find the Full Text of Articles

Use the Find It Button to Find Full Text

Article indexes and databases don't always provide easy access to the full-text of articles you need. if Albertsons Library has purchased content, you may be able to find it relatively easily.

Watch for buttons or links that say Full Text, PDF, or HTML. And most importantly, watch for the Find It button within your search results. The Find It button will link you to the full text of the article in other indexes or databases, within online journal subscriptions, or will tell you if the Library has the print journal (i.e. in paper).

Here's an example of the Find It button in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications database


ACS record with BSU Find It Button circled


Here's an example of the Find It button in the Compendex engineering database

Compendex article record with the BSU Find It button circled

CAUTION: In some databases, the Full Text button (like the one shown above in Compendex) may link to the publisher's version of a full text article, which may require you to pay for access. The Library's Find It button will always send you to resources that are free to you or will give you an option to borrow them from another library without charge.


When you click the Find It button, you will see options for how you might get access to the article, and the options can be confusing, so here are some hints:

  • You may see a "Full Text Online" button, that will take you a page where you can find the full text

Full text online button from science direct journals

  • You may see a note that the Library has the journal "from the print collection" with a link that will take you to to the catalog record where you can find the journal call number.
    • The call number is the address of the book or item in Albertsons Library.
    • Stop at the ASK Desk just inside the Library entrance if you need help figuring out where to find the call number in the Library
  • You may also see a link which says "Search CrossRef for a DOI link to the full text".
    • DOI means "digital object identifier" which is a persistent identifier or link used to uniquely identify an object
    • If you click this link, you will get a URL that will link you directly to the journal article that you can copy and use in your citation manager
  • And, If there isn't any full text available, and the Library doesn't have a print version, you will see a note that says "No electronic access is available for this item" with a "Request Through InterLibrary Loan" button
    • The citation to request the item is right at the top of the box labeled "Item Details"

Example of Citation under item details

When you click the "Request through Interlibrary Loan" link, you will go to an "Article Request" form that, when submitted, will ask the Library to retrieve the article for you from another library.

  • You may be prompted to log in using your Boise State email and password
  • You'll notice that the computer has already started to fill in the Article Request form for you. Before you hit the "Submit Request" button, verify that the information for the citation is correct!  It doesn't always come out right


NOTE: For more information on Interlibrary Loan (ILL), go to the "Get Materials the Library Doesn't Have" section of this guide.

I have a Citation. How do I Find the Journal?

So you found a great citation, but you weren't in an article database or a place where there was an HTML, PDF, Full Text, or Find it Button.  Try the Library's Journals Search.

From the Library's Main page, click on the Journals Box

Library's main page with Journals box circled


You can search by Journal Title, International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), DOI or PubMed ID (PMID) Number.

Journals Search Page showing search options


If you find the journal, you will see options for how you might get the article full text or from the print collection.

Sample Journal Search Record


Finding Specific Articles

Did you know that Google Scholar is a great place to look for specific articles?

Type in the article title within quotation marks to make the search more precise.  For example:

Google Scholar showing article title in quotes search

If you have your Google Scholar preferences set to show you Boise State University's library materials, you see a link to to find the full text.

Who Cited this Article?

Many databases will show you who cited a particular article. Depending on the database you search, these citations might be from  articles, technical reports, dissertations, or other types of documents. Here are some options in broad general databases that might help.


Why are the Number of Citations Different?

You may find that the numbers of articles that cited an original article are different in each database you search.  Databases that have a "cited by" feature are retrieving the information from the content within their own database or a range of databases by that vendor, so their sources of information will differ.

Google Scholar will usually have more articles listed under their "cited by" because the database searches across the Internet