Perfect article. Just out of reach.
Sometimes you might find information somewhere out on the open web about an article that sounds just perfect for your research. We get it. We've been there.
Whether you were using Google Scholar or found out about the article through some other website, there are a couple of things you can try.
Does the WCC library have access to it?
It's always okay to Ask a Librarian right away for help accessing an article. However, if you need it right now and would prefer to try on your own first, here are some steps to follow.
1. What did you find out about the article?
To check whether the WCC Library has access, first look at the information you found about the article.
This article came up in some search results in Google Scholar. Unfortunately, when we go to it, there is a little padlock symbol on the page--never a good sign.
If we look below the abstract, or summary of the article, we see a log-in option, but we don't have an account. There is also an option to purchase the article for $37.50, but we don't have $37.50 either. Librarians refer to this not-so-fondly as a "paywall."
So what to do when you hit that paywall?
2. In which journal was the article published?
See if you can identify which journal the article was published in. This is more obvious in this case because the title contains the word "Journal."
This article comes from the Journal of Family Issues.
It's not always this obvious, though--sometimes the journal title will be included as part of the information about the article near the top of a page like this.
3. How to use the library's journal title search feature.
Now that we're armed with the knowledge of the journal title, we can look in the WCC Library's A - Z Journal Search.
You can access that search through the library's Articles & Databases page towards the top under "Academic Journals/Articles" or in OneSearch by clicking on the "Journal Titles" button at the top of the page.
Whichever way you get into it, try searching for Journal of Family Issues. The only result that comes up is the Journal of Family and Economic Issues. Slightly different title = different journal.
If the WCC Library did have access to the journal you're looking for, from here you would be able to browse or search in it.
Since we don't, though, it's time to request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
How do I request an ILL?
On the library's main page, look under Quick Links.
Click the link to the Interlibrary Loan form.
If you found the article info through a website, it helps to include the link under the "Source of information" field right after your contact info.
When you're requesting an article, you can ignore the "Book" section and skip straight to the "Article" one.
Use the information you found about the article to fill out as much information as you can.
Once you submit the form, you should receive an emailed copy of the article within a week or so.
Our interlibrary loan staff will contact you if they have any trouble getting the article.
If they can't locate a library to send us a copy of the article for free, no worries--they will also let you know if they're having trouble with that, and you will not be charged.
Search and request early.
To maximize the benefit of using our ILL system, make sure to start gathering articles for your research early.
Although we can usually get copies of articles quickly, that is not always the case.
So, for that perfect article, don't be shy about getting in those requests when the deadline for your assignment is still further out.
Want to know what's happening at Whatcom Community College's Library? Click on a news story below to learn more!