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Library Guide to Finding Articles

Paywalls, help for specific online collections, and general


Should you encounter a paywall in trying to access a journal or article, don't automatically assume that it is a cancelled title. Do check the journal record to verify the coverage dates, as we may not license all issues. If it's an issue we should have but you can't access it, please contact us through one of the methods pointed to on this page or via A range of problems could be involved. Renewals are sometimes not accurately processed by vendors or there could be a technical detail we need to sort out. Stated coverage dates may occasionally be inaccurate as well.

Help for specific online resources

If you would like help doing research in a particular online resource, do check the database A-Z page. Any special instructions for using resources are included in the descriptions.

Additionally, the database entries include a question mark (?) icon with links to help resources created by the vendors if available.

Database page question mark icon

Most resources offer help guides, typically pointed to in the resource's header.

Nexis Uni help section

Need additional help? Please contact the library through one of the methods pointed to on this page.


It is recommended you access resources through the library website rather than directly going to resources through your web browser, so you are always properly authenticated for off-campus use. 

As a general rule, it is recommended you stay current with updates to browsers and programs that support pdfs.

It can also be helpful to clear your browser cache, history, and cookies, as these commonly create issues for users in accessing library online resources. Switching to a different browser may provide the quickest solution.

Full text linking problems in OneSearch

OneSearch records may sometimes fail at the point of linking to the full text. The online link may not directly retrieve the article (landing the user at the issue, journal, or publication home page) or may produce an error message. Should you have such a problem, try finding the issue and pages that the article appears in or doing a search for the article title on the source website. 

Another option is to locate the journal record and drill down to the issue containing the article. Journal records may be found in OneSearch or through the Journals A-Z, a searchable list of journals the library offers electronically and in print. OneSearch pools together all possible content types, so the journal finder can help focus the scope of your search without the need for further filtering.

Mansfield Library Journal A-Z List

How this works: With the citation in hand, locate the journal by title or ISSN. Browse the list of online sources offered and the coverage dates. Click through to a matching source, browse the back issue or archival listing, and drill down to the issue containing the article.  

For example:

Example of article citation in OneSearch

Use the journal A-Z to locate a record for Ecological research.

Next, locate an online source matching the article's date (2016-05) and/or enumeration (vol 31, issue no. 3).

Journal record for Ecological research in OneSearch

Tip: If you encounter an access problem with a source, go back to the journal record and check if another option is available.

Note: Aggregator databases often contain issue-by-issue full text for journals, but may have incomplete coverage compared to publisher sites and may lack a certain percentage of articles, because they do not have rights to reproduce them. FYI-Click here to view a list of the full text aggregators at the library. Online source menus are configured to present full text from publisher sites ahead of aggregators to minimize potential availability problems.

OneSearch online services menu for Ecological research

Getting full text from Library Databases and other search engines

It may be helpful to conduct a search in OneSearch if you are coming from a database or another service like WorldCat and the UM full text services menu cannot locate any sources for you. Some results cannot display in the full text services menu due to the way in which certain content is ingested by our library system. One quick way to run a search is to copy the citation from the UM full text services menu, click on NEW SEARCH at the top of the menu, and paste the text into the search box. Complete an interlibrary loan request if a direct search in OneSearch cannot retrieve full text either. 

WorldCat record Search University of Montana link

How to initiate a new search from the UM full text services menu

Full text record found in OneSearch for item not found by UM full text services menu

Tip: Open the NEW SEARCH in a new browser tab so that you can return to the UM menu to place an interlibrary loan request if full text is not found.

If OneSearch does not produce a full text result for the citation, take these additional steps:

  • Click on Google Scholar from the "no results" message in OneSearch (shown below). Paste the name of the article into Google Scholar and run a search.

Article with no full text offered in OneSearch link to Google Scholar


  • No luck finding full text? Return to the UM menu and submit an interlibrary loan request.

Request from another library link (interlibrary loan)

Problems linking to full text? Go to Troubleshooting full text linking problems in OneSearch