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Searching for online fulltext

We have a number of searchable sources for full-text periodical articles. In our list of databases...


...you can identify these sources by looking for  Fulltext  following the title. The two most broad-based in terms of subject matter are JSTOR and Project MUSE. Both of these collections contain the kind of peer-reviewedscholarly journals that your professors want you to read.

There is a critical difference you need to bear in mind about these two collections:

  • While JSTOR is a comprehensive archive of thousands of articles whose coverage starts with volume 1 issue 1 and page 1 of a journal, the available full text generally ends three to five years before the current year. So if you are reading this in 2013, the most recent articles you'll find on JSTOR will be from around 2010. Do not count on JSTOR to deliver the most current scholarship in a field.
  • Project MUSE includes recent articles from over a hundred journals, but it does not have much of a backfile, and so the coverage in any given title will probably not go back much further than the mid-1990s.

Searching full text databases can be a little tricky. The search engines in these collections look for the incidence of the terms you've put into the search box in thousands of pretty long articles, so it’s very easy to get lots of irrelevant results.

Here are some tips for searching full text databases:

  • If available, use the advanced search option. This allows you to control your search terms and do a better, more controlled and in-depth search. Search by the author or subject or geographical term you find best. Combining them using the terms offered, AND, OR, and NOT, can narrow or widen your search depending upon the results you get.

Since very few articles in have abstracts and none have subject headings, you’re pretty much limited to searching the full text. Try these suggestions:

Since very few articles in JSTOR have abstracts and none have subject headings and you can only search the content in Project MUSE, you’re pretty much limited to searching the full text. Try these suggestions:

  • Search for phrases. Search terms that are strung together and enclosed in quotation marks are searched as a phrase.
  • In JSTOR's Adavanced Search, limit the kind of article you are looking for and/or the years of publication in the second section of the search page. Then, choose the subject set(s) of journals at the bottom of the search screen.
  • In Project MUSE, start your searches fromt he simple search box on the homepage. If you don't get the results you want, click on the Modify Search button. Now you can string together more search terms or limit your search by article title or author.

Using Indexes

As rich as JSTOR and ProjectMUSE are, they only cover a few of the many thousands of journals in each discipline. For a more comprehensive view of scholarship in a given area, consult the indexes that cover the journals dedicated to a particular discipline.

Click on the Databases icon...


...and choose the subject area you want and in the drop down list, you’ll find databases that include full-text, some that offer just  Citations  and some that are a hybrid of both.

Click on the index you want to use, and try typing in a couple of search terms, much as you would a Google search. If you get too many articles or irrelevant ones , use the Advanced Search, and search for your main idea as a subject or descriptor. If you get too many hits, try adding a keyword that might narrow your subject down.

The result should be a list of citations. Citations always include the following fields:

  • Title of the article
  • Author(s) of the article
  • Title, volume and issue of the periodical the article appeared in
  • Page numbers
  • Subject headings - Very often these descriptions are links, so if you find a subject that suits your research, click on that link to get everything in that index pertaining to that subject. If there is no link, copy the subject description down, and run a subject search using it.

Citations often include the following fields:

  • Accession or abstract number - Information particular to that index (the number of the citation within that database)
  • Standard number - ISN, ISSN, ISBN - these are unique numbers given to periodicals (ISSNs) and books (ISBNs). They are required for interlibrary loans.

How to find an article

When you find a citation for an article that you'd like to read, the first place to check is our Journal List...

 find journals

  • Type in the title of the journal (not the article). If we have an electronic subscription, the links that appear below the title will take you to the “journal level” of our subscription. From here, choose a year/volume/issue to get the table of contents and then click on the article you are looking for.
  • If we subscribe to a paper copy of the journal, click on “Bard College Print Holdings”. This will open up a link to our catalog. If the location given is Bard Periodicals, then the journal is in the Main Library.
    • The numbers that follow the words "Library Has" show which volumes and dates we have in our bound journalscollection housed in the Hoffman section of the library.
    • A dash (-) at the end of a range of volumes and at the end of a range of dates indicates that we have an ongoing subscription, and that issues that follow that last volume/date will be located in Current Periodicals on the second floor of Stevenson. (Remember to pull the shelves up to see recent back issues.) The latest issue received is noted on the Latest Received line.
    • All our periodicals, whether bound, microfilmed or current, are shelved in alphabetical order by title.
    • Bound journals whose titles start with:
      • A-C are shelved in Hoffman 5
      • D-Mu -- Hoffman 4
      • N-Rev -- Hoffman 2
      • Revue E-Z -- Hoffman 1
  • If the location given is Bard Microform, then back issues of that journal are stored on microfilm, and located in the microfilm cabinets on the first floor of Stevenson. They are arranged in alphabetical order by title. The cabinets on the northeast side of the room house the microfilm of journals whose titles start with the letter A to New York Times, 10/46. The cabinets on the southwest side of the room house our remaining reels. (We subscribe to a searchable full-text version of New York Times From 1851 to 3 Years Ago.) For help using the microfilm reader/printer in Stevenson 1, see a librarian. 

If we don’t subscribe to the journal you need, use ILLiad...


...to request the article you’re looking for. For more information on ILLiad, and to set up your account, click here. Once your account is set up, you can automatically populate the article request form from EBSCO databases – just click on the illiad button button. From other databases, or from citations you find in printed sources, type in the information.

As always, if you have trouble finding an article or a journal, please see a librarian. We'd be happy to help.