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Find, access and use information effectively: a step-by-step guide: Find full-text articles

Find, access and use information effectively: a step-by-step guide


Use these steps to find the electronic format of an article that has been recommended to you or that you found in the reference list of another source.


Reid, A., & Baker, F.C. 2008. Perceived sleep quality and sleepiness in South African university students. South African Journal of Psychology, 38(2):287-303.

You know this is a journal article, because there is no publisher and place of publication; instead there is a volume (38), issue (2) and page numbers (287-303). The title of the journal is in italics.

Use e-Journals

On the Library website (, click on FIND and select E-journals from the drop-down menu. Type the name of the journal in the search box on the next screen:


You will be shown one or more databases or publishers that offer access to that journal title. Click on full text access. The example below shows  Academic Search Premier , SA ePublications or SAGE Journals.  

Select the database that covers the year you need. In this case both databases include 2008, so you can choose any of the two.

If you select Academic Search Premier you will be taken to the following screen. Select the year (2008), volume (38) and issue (2) from the list on the right. You will then be able to find the article you are looking for.

Journals not available electronically

If a journal is not available electronically, check Library Search to see if the Library subscribes to the print version.

Library Search will provide the shelf number where you can find the journal. Journals are kept on the upper or lower level (depending on the shelf number) on shelves with brown disks on the side.

Interlibrary loans

Request a book or journal article not available at SU Library Service. For staff and registered students only.

Google Scholar

If the library does not have access to an article, either full text online or in print, you can also try a search on Google Scholar. Some authors put their articles on the web for free and you can download the article immediately.


Qaim, Matin. 2009. The Economics of Genetically Modified Crops. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 1:665-694

Google Scholar Search