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College Now & the SMSU Library: Find Electronic Journal Articles

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a great place to begin your research, especially if the topic is new to you and you're uncertain of what kinds of keywords you should be using to find articles in library databases. 

If you're on campus, the books and articles at the SMSU Library are automatically linked up to your Google Scholar results. Never fear, however-- you can connect Google Scholar to the SMSU Library from wherever you are. 

Here's what you do: 

  • go to
  • click on "settings" (the icon looks like a gear)
  • click on "library links" on the left side of the page
  • type in "Southwest Minnesota State University"
  • checkmark the two boxes that appear beneath the search box with SMSU's name next to them
  • click save

If you have a Google account, as long as you're logged in, Google will remember that you are searching SMSU. If you don't have an account, you'll need to repeat this process every time you open a new browser window or search on a new computer. 

Google Scholar Search

Where are the journal articles?

Full-text journal articles, as well as citations and abstracts of articles that are not full-text, are available in databases. If you know the name of a database that you want to search, find the A-Z Databases on the SMSU Library main page. Once you get into a database, you can begin searching for articles addressing your topic. For suggestions on which databases to use for your topic, check out our Topic Guides

Most databases include the full text of some of the articles they contain; look for the "limit to full text" checkmark on your results page. You can also use the "search for full text" link when you don't see a PDF or HTML version of an article to search other SMSU Library databases for a given article. 

What if I know the name of the article I want?

If you have a citation (an article title, journal title, author, year, page number) that you want to find the full-text for, you can more quickly find it by using the Journals A-Z tab on the Library's main page. Start by typing in the journal (not the article) title, for instance, Drug and Alcohol Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, or New York Times

You'll then see a list of the databases that contain the journal you're looking for, as well as the range of dates that the database covers, and whether or not you will find full-text articles or just citations. Check the date of your citation and click into an appropriate database (there may be more than one). 

Once you've selected a database, you'll likely need to look at the right side of the screen to find the correct year, volume and issue. 

What if the library doesn't have the full text of the article?

If you don't see links to HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text beneath the citation information of the article you want to read, click on the Search for full text link that appears. Then, take the following steps: 

  • If the library has the full text of the article in a database, a link to the article will appear. Click on the link that says "Get Full Text." If clicking this link does not bring you straight to the text of the article, a pop-up window will appear that may contain a link (or several) that say "Go to Article." If you click that link, you should see your article appear.
  • If the library does not have the full text, you will see a pop-up screen that says "Didn't find an Online Version?" Right beneath that phrase, you will see a link to Google Scholar and another that says "Request a copy via interlibrary loan." Click that link. 
  • You'll need to have your StarID and password handy. Enter this information when prompted. 
  • When your request is complete, you will see a confirmation screen. Watch your SMSU email for notification of your article's arrival. You can expect the article to arrive in 3-5 business days, depending on the article's availability.