Tracking Down Periodical Articles

The SFX CitationFinder tool will help you find out if a periodical article is in the library's databases or collections. It acts like SFX links in database results. When activated, it searches for full text versions of articles in the library's databases. Then, it shows a results screen so you can

The following steps explain how to use the SFX CitationFinder.

Using SFX CitationFinder to Locate Articles

The following steps explain how to use the SFX CitationFinder.

  • We'll use this periodical article citation for our sample search:
    Stanley-Stevens, L. & Kaiser, K. C. (2011). Decisions of first time expectant mothers in Central Texas compared to women in Great Britain and Spain: Testing Hakim's preference theory. Journal of Comparative Family Studies 42(1), 113-130.
  • You can use the window to the right to perform the steps as you read them.
    • If your NTNET login does not work in the window, open this library homepage window, resize it, and use it to follow along.


The SFX CitationFinder tool is located on the library's homepage (

  • Click the Online periodicals by title (SFX) link under the Databases heading.
  • Click the CitationFinder tab at the top of the SFX interface.
  • Using the example article citation above, we only need to fill in these search boxes:
    • periodical title = journal of comparative family studies
      • omit punctuation marks and articles (a, an, the)
    • year = 2011
      • choose year from the drop-down menu
    • article title = decisions of first time expectant mothers
      • just use the first 4-5 words of the title
    • first author's last name = stanley-stevens
      • omit initials and first name
    • Your SFX interface should look like this:
  • Click "GO" and the SFX CitationFinder will search for the full text of the article.

Perform an SFX citation search in this window while reading the steps!

If your NTNET login will not work in this window,
open this library homepage window, resize it, and use it to follow along.

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Interpreting SFX Search Results

SFX search results will

The images below show what each of these results looks like. Tips for what to do with the results are listed to the side of the images.



SFX Database Link: Get Full Text Articles

If an article is full text in the library's databases, a link to the database will appear under the "Full Text Online" heading. More than one database may be listed if the periodical is full text in several databases.

The links will state the database's name and the years of full text coverage. In the example image, the database is Academic Search Complete and the Journal of Comparative Family Studies is available full text since 1985.

  • Before clicking a database link in SFX results, check the "Available from" year to make sure the year you want is available.
    • SFX is just software. It shows results from searching across multiple databases with different characteristics and may list false leads.
  • Note the database's name in case you want to use this database directly from the library's database page when
    • you are tracking another article from the same periodical,
    • you want to search for other articles about related topics, or
    • the SFX link does not work. Remember, SFX is just software and sometimes glitches.
  • Click the "Full Text Online" database link to open the database.

When clicked, the database link should open in a window that shows

  • the full text article's record so you can read and/or save the article or
  • a search interface so you can search for the article.
    • The journal title should already be embedded in the search.
    • Use the article title as your search term for more precise retrieval.


SFX Catalog Link: Search for Periodicals

If the periodical is not full text in the library's databases, the SFX CitationFinder results will show a "We do not have online access to this" message. However, you may still be able to get the article because the library purchases periodicals in electronic and print formats.

So, the next step is to find out if the library owns the periodical you need.

  • Click the "See if we have a print copy in the Tarleton Libraries Catalog" link.

When clicked, the link will initiate a catalog search. Then, a window will open and show

  • the library catalog record for the periodical you're looking for or
  • a "no match" results list with links to "best match" items.

If the library owns the periodical, the catalog record will show what years are owned, which library has the periodical, and if the library purchases it in electronic format (see below).


  • Print periodicals can be retrieved from the library that holds them. Then, the article can be read and/or photocopied at that library.
  • Online periodicals can be accessed by clicking links in their catalog records.
    • If prompted, use your NTNET login to open the periodical.
    • Use the article title as your search term for more precise retrieval.


If the library does not own the periodical or does not have the year you need, you can submit an interlibrary loan (ILLiad) request. Library staff will look for a library that has the periodical, request a copy of the article, and make it available to you. Learn more about Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad).

NOTE: If you take classes on campuses other than the Stephenville campus or fully online and an item you need is not available electronically through the library's databases and catalog, register for the library's off-campus and distance learning services.

Then, you can submit interlibrary loan requests for print materials from the main library's collections. The materials will be delivered by courier to your campus or, if you qualify, to your home. Read more about the library's "Off-Campus & Distance Learning Services."



SFX Interlibrary Loan Link: Request Articles

If the article you need is not full text in the library's databases and the periodical is not in Tarleton libraries' collections, submit an interlibrary loan request. This request lets library staff know that you need them to locate and obtain an item for your use.

  • On the SFX results page, click the "Request this item through ILLiad - our Interlibrary Loan service" link.
    • Use your NTNET login to open the interlibrary loan request form. (Get NTNET information.)
  • The SFX tool will add most of the needed information to the request form.
  • Complete all the required fields, which are marked with a red asterisk and include
    • periodical title
    • year
    • inclusive (start and stop) page numbers
      • Always check that the page numbers are filled in. Interlibrary loan staff can't get an article if they don't know its page numbers.
    • year
    • article title
    • Not wanted after date
      • Lets library staff know when to stop looking for an item.
    • Supplying additional information like volume and issue numbers or publication month helps library staff get the correct article.
  • When the form is completed, click the "Submit Request" button.
    • The library's interlibrary loan staff will look for a library that owns the periodical, ask for a copy of the article, and contact you through your email to let you know your request's status.

NOTE: You may also be able to use the library's TexShare program to locate the periodical you need in a library in your area. Learn about TexShare.


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