CO130 - Academic Writing

Finding, Saving, and Citing

Get full-text, save and cite what you find!

This page goes over information regarding how to get the full-text of articles, save them, and cite them--basically, everything you need to do once you find articles you like. The examples are from Academic Search Premier, but the tools and strategies apply to many databases.

The sections are organized as follows:

  • Getting full-text - all the options to get any article you can find for free!
  • Saving and citing - using database tools to keep track of what you find!
  • Other search options - see the bottom of the page for additional options

Feel free to contact your librarian (right) with any questions.

Getting Full-Text

Get the full-text of any article!

Find an article you are interested in? Get the full-text to start reading! The steps below will walk you through how to get any article you find.

NOTE: We can get you access to any article, so you should never have to pay to get access to research articles.

Option 1: The PDF/HTML is available in the database

Sometimes, you will see the article right in the article information. If that's the case, click on PDF to download the article you can print or save. Here's an example:

This shows an image of an example article with the PDF access option highlighted.

Clicking on the PDF link will load the article, which you can then print or save. If you see this: This shows an image of a link that says, "HTML Full Text."

It means that the full article is right in the article information, in simple text format (i.e. it doesn't have pictures or decorative font. This is more common with newspaper or magazine articles.

Option 2: FindIt@CSU

Note: This is the most confusing part for most students.

If you don't see the PDF in the article information, click on the green FindIt@CSU button: This shows an image of an example article with the FindIt@CSU option highlighted.

When you click on FindIt@CSU, you'll see a list of options for getting the full-text. Often, we have the article from another source, and it will say "Full-text available at" and redirect you. In the example below, you would click on "Elsevier SD Freedom Collection" to access the full text. This image shows an example full-text option screen with the "Full-text available at" option highlighted.

Once you click on the full-text option, you'll be redirected to the page where you can find the PDF, ex.:

This image shows an example article record with the PDF option highlighted.

NOTE: These are all different article subscription sources, so they may look different. Just look for the PDF.

Option 3: Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If you are not able to get an article through FindIt@CSU (either because it says "No Full-Text Available" or because the link doesn't work), you can still get the article! Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a free service where we get articles we don't have access to for you and send you the PDF. This image shows the full-text options screen with the option "CSU-Fort Collins Interlibrary Loan" highlighted.

When you click on "CSU-Fort Collins Interlibrary Loan," you'll sign into the ILL system with your eID an password, just like everything else. The first time you use the system, you'll be asked to fill in some basic information about yourself to set up your account (you only do this once), then you'll be directed to a page where the article information is filled in automatically. Check it over, put in any notes or anything you need to, and then hit submit. You'll get an e-mail when your article is ready and you can sign into your account, click on "Download Documents" to find your file, and then save it to your computer. Be sure to save a copy, since it will eventually be deleted from your account.

NOTE: Interlibrary loan does take anywhere between a few hours to a few business days, so it's not a good option if your paper is due the following day. If possible, it's a good idea to find your materials a few days before, but we usually still have plenty of full-text options if you are working at the last minute.

Saving and Citing Articles

Saving Articles You Find:

When you find an article you like, you can see more information by clicking on the title. This will give you more information about the article, including things like the abstract and key terms that you might want to include in your search. On the right-hand side, you will also see a "Tools" menu that gives you options for saving and tracking articles. This image shows an article record with the "Tools" menu highlighted.

The "Tools" menu gives you several different options, including:

  • E-mail - e-mail the article information to yourself. If it's available, you can include a PDF and/or a citation in your format of choice.
  • Cite - this option will give you a draft citation for your article. You can scroll down to see citation in additional styles (MLA is towards the bottom of the list). Note that these are draft, machine-generated citations. You may need to proofread and edit them.
  • Permalink - this option will give you a link back to the article information page that will work later. NOTE: If you grab the URL from the top of the page, it often won't work later, so don't save your research this way!
  • Google Drive--this will save the article or information to Google Drive. It is most useful if the article is available as a PDF (although you can upload the PDF to Google Drive manually either way).
  • Add to Folder/Save - these options will save your article to your browser. NOTE: This option is not recommended unless you have set up a free MyEBSCO account (you can do this from "Sign In" at the top). This is unique account that is not related to your eID. If you do not have an account, it will just save to your browser, and you probably will lose your work if you close your browser. Please keep this in mind and contact your librarian if you have questions. The video below has more information on this process.
  • Export - this option will allow you to export articles to citation management programs such as Zotero ( or Endnote (

These are all options for tracking your work. Try some options and see what works best for you!


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Kristy Nowak
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