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Database, Journal, & Article Searching

This guide explains how to find and cite scholarly articles, as well as offers information on pdf vs html, article linking and much more.

PDF vs HTML: Which is better?

Image of the Adobe PDF logoImage of the HTML logo



Why a .pdf is generally better

  • It is an exact reprint of how it appeared in the journal in print, making it easier to read
  • It contains all original photos, charts/graphs mathematical formulas etc.
  • It is easier to extract the citation information from the header and/or footer
  • It is stable - you can open it on a PC or a Mac

HTML full text...

  • Is a web rendered version of the article, therefore it can be tougher to read as it generally appears as one continuous column
  • Will not likely contain any type of visuals, e.g. photos, tables, charts etc.
  • Has a unique feature within some databases where you can choose to also LISTEN to the article
  • CAN be useful as a research tool, because it is much more likely to embedded hyperlinks within the content

Full Text Options

Direct Access to Full Text in Current Database

 indicates the full text can be retrieved in the exact format as when it appeared in a print journal. In other words, page numbers, illustrations, graphs will all be intact and it will print very nicely as well. This is the most desirable full text option. 

indicates the full text can be retrieved, but it will render as a web page. This means it might be a little more to difficult read than a pdf. and images, charts and graphs may not be present. It also might be difficult to print, as text may run off the page. Ideally if you have a choice between .pdf or html full text, always choose .pdf.

Linked Direct Access to Full Text in Another Database

 indicates that this database has found full text located in another database. Clicking on this link will take you out of where you are and into the database that contains the article. From there, you should be able to access the article either by .pdf or html.

NOTE: Each database has different connections, metadata and access points, sometimes this does not work, and although it says it found full text, it may not be available.

Potential Access to Full Text in Another Database

 This symbol indicates that full text may or may not have been found in one or more databases. Clicking on "Get Access" will either:

  1. Connect you directly to the full-text of the article, if it is found in any of our databases.
  2. Connect you to Interlibrary Loan, if the full-text of the article is NOT available in our databases. (see below)

Full-text in a Database is not available:

For your convenience, Interlibrary Loan is fully automated, but keep in mind the article could take up to two weeks to come it. Before pursuing this option, Ask a Librarian to determine if there is any other way to attain full-text access and/or check for similar articles available in full text. More on InterLibrary Loan...

Video on Interlibrary Loan Requests

This Video from UWF describes Interlibrary Loan Requests. Start at 1:18.