Choosing only articles provided in full text online

If you are working at home or in your office and can’t get to the Library, you might want to retrieve only articles that are available in digital format online.  About 30% of the articles, book reviews and essays indexed in Old or New Testament Abstracts and the Catholic Periodical and Literature Index are offered in full text.  For the rest, you will find citations only, and then you will need to hunt down those articles in print periodicals or books.   The Religion and Philosophy Collection indexes a higher proportion of full-text materials (about 80%).

The digital material in these EBSCO databases is provided in several different formats, some of which are easier to open than others.

Filtering your search results to full-text only

Complete a search that retrieves a substantial number of records.  As you scroll down through your search results, you notice that some of the records have a gray strip along the lower edge with a full-text icon in it.


The strip may say PDF Full Text, or HTML Full Text, or Linked Full Text.  Some records have no gray bar at all below the “Add to folder” icon.  In that case, the article or essay is not available as a digital document, so the record contains a citation only.  That article is available in print format in a periodical or book.

The "Refine Your Results" box

Look at the options listed along the left side of the search results screen.  Below the words Refine Results, you are offered several ways of eliminating records from your set and keeping the rest of them. Below the words Limit To, find the little box beside the words Full Text.  Click in that box.

The screen will darken for a moment, while the display is updating.  Then it will provide a new view of your search results.

Now, you notice that you have far fewer records : for example, instead of 44 records, you may have only 9. But all of them have gray bars with some form of full text icon or designator visible.  (Do bear in mind that you have eliminated a lot of potentially valuable information, which you might want to go back and read later.)


Different digital formats

If a record has the PDF Full Text icon, this link will give you direct access to a scanned copy of the article or essay just as it appeared in the original publication. PDF is a superior digital format for this purpose : it’s searchable by keyword, using the PDF file’s own menus.  It can be saved or printed easily.  And the links to PDF files are very stable, so you can email records to yourself with a high degree of confidence that you will be able to open the record and read the article later.

If the icon says HTML Full Text, that format is likewise very easy to read, although saving and printing require a bit more effort.  The whole content of the article actually opens within the bib record, just like that.  It also appears in the body of the email if you send that record to yourself.  To print it or save it, however, you might need to copy the contents into a word-processing program such as MS Word.

If the icon says Linked Full Text, you may or may not be able to reach the document.  That link will send you to the publisher’s own page for that article — some publishers will allow you to read the article or download a PDF, while others will not.  Examine the publisher’s page carefully for a link to a free digital document.  If you don’t find one, don’t despair — we probably own the journal in paper format in the Periodicals stacks, or we can request it for you through Interlibrary Loan.