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Health Sciences Literature Searching: Locating Full Text

Students and researchers in the health sciences often conduct comprehensive searches of the literature. The steps in this guide show how this process works.

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Interlibrary Loan:

Locating Full Text in the Library

The BCIT Library has a selection of print and ejournals. Once you've conducted your search and found relevant articles, you will be wanting to find the full text of each citation.

Often, this step is easy, search:

  • In the database, select the option to view full text, or click on the button.
  • on the library homepage, simply look-up on First Search for the article title . 

What if you can't locate full text this way?

In some cases, finding full text is more complicated than just searching for the article title. While many people's first response to the landing page above is to request the article through interlibrary loan (ILL), this is often unnecessary if we have the item at BCIT! There are a few steps you can take to locate the article you need before requesting it on ILL. 

Finding full text/print in the BCIT Library catalogue: a three-step process

Check to see if it is available at BCIT. Follow the steps below before requesting an item from another institution, via interlibrary loan:

  1. Search the library catalogue for the name of the journal that the article you need appears in
  2. Determine if the journal is available electronically or in print
  3. Access the journal online, or visit the library to reference the journal in print (visits to the Library are not available right now -- you are able to request for a PDF article via Interlibrary Loan).

Below is the look for a print journal record:


Another option to find journals available electronically at BCIT

Search for Periodical Titles

  • Select the link that contains the year of the publication you need
  • Navigate to the electronic journal page and locate the correct year, volume, and issue
  • Or, search within the journal for the article title

NOTE: If the electronic resource does not include the specific year you need--you may still be able to access it in print! 

Requesting an Article via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If the library does not subscribe to the journal you need, you can request a specific article through our interlibrary loan service. Note that you should only request an article through ILL if it is not available at BCIT.

There are two ways to request an article through ILL:

1. Request the item from the databases

Once you click on "Request Item" a form will open, auto-populated with the article information. Double check to make sure the information is correct.

2. email your request --this is particularly useful if you found the article on Google or MEDLINE, for instance. 

Use First Search to check the Library collection.

If the material you need is not listed use our inter-library loan system to request it.