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Finding Full-Text Articles


How can I get the full-text article? That's a very common question at every academic library. There are several different ways to retrieve full-text articles through Galter Library. You'll see different cues in different databases that will lead you to the full-text of an article. Here are two buttons to look for:

Galter Full Text Button      Findit Button

No matter which database you are searching, be sure to either sign in to the Galter Library website or the NU VPN if you are off campus. Here are some helpful hints for retrieving full-text articles from several different sources including PubMed, Google Scholar, the Galter Library website, and other biomedical literature databases.

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Be sure to sign in to the Galter Library website or the NU VPN if you are off campus.

  1. Access Pubmed through the popular resources link from the Galter Library website. This will ensure that you will see the Galter Full-Text Online button.
  2. Run your search.
  3. Click on an article title to view that abstract OR change the display settings to "abstract" to view the abstracts for your list of search results.
  4. When full-text is available you'll see a Galter Full-Text Online button in the upper right corner (if viewing an individual abstract) or below the abstract (if viewing a list of results in abstract format).
  5. Click on the Galter Full-Text Online button to retrieve the article. Note: You might also see publisher links to full-text and free full-text links.


Note: We try to ensure that the Galter Full-Text Online button appears for all articles where full-text is available. However, sometimes the data contained in PubMed does not fully reflect full-text availability. If you think the library provides access to full-text of an article, but the button doesn't appear in PubMed, try searching the Galter Library website.

Other Library Databases
Be sure to sign in to the Galter Library website or the NU VPN if you are off campus.
Full-text is available in many other databases from several vendors including MEDLINE (Ovid), PsycINFO (Ebsco), and Web of Science (Thomson/ISI). The common thread to all of these is the Find it@NU button. Look for the Find it@NU button within each item record in your search result set.

Findit Button

Clicking on the Find it@NU button will take you to an interim page where you'll find links to full-text (if available), links to order the article through interlibrary loan if full- text is not available, and a link to NUcat so you can see whether we own this journal in print format.

Google Scholar
First: Activate the Find it @NU links in Scholar Preferences and then continue with one of these options:

Option 1: Sign into the Galter Library website and access Google Scholar from there. When signed in, search for "Google Scholar" in the library website search box and click the resulting link. The address for Google Scholar should be:

Option 2: Connect via the VPN service so Google Scholar will recognize your query as originating from the university's IP range and allow access via the paper title or Find it @NU link. For more details on how to connect via the VPN, see the "Connecting From Off Campus" page from NUIT. In some cases, even when signed into the Galter Library website or with the VPN enabled you may still be redirected to the Online Passport page. You will have to log in with your valid NU netID and password in order to proceed to the journal page to access the article. You must have cookies enabled on your browser for the Online Passport to work properly. See the "How NU Online Passport Works" page for more information.

  1. Run your search in Google Scholar.
  2. If the library subscribes to a journal within your search results, you should be able to access full-text by clicking on the article title.
  3. You can also try the Find it @ NU links but you may be redirected to the Online Passport page (see above).

Google Scholar

Pubget is an alternative search interface to the data found in PubMed which includes PDFs (when available) within the search results.
Be sure to sign in to the Galter Library website or the NU VPN if you are off campus.

  1. Below the search box is pull-down menu to set your subscription to an institution. If Northwestern does not appear by default, choose Northwestern from the list.
  2. Run your search in Pubget.
  3. A list of search results will display within the left pane.
  4. Navigate the search results by clicking on article titles in the left pane.
  5. A PDF of the article (if available) will display within the right pane. Note: for full-text articles from Ovid journals, an html page will appear in the right pane. You'll need to click on the PDF link to display the PDF.
  6. Be patient as it may take some time for the PDFs to load in the right pane.

Galter Library website
You can use the Galter Library website to search for journals but not within journals. If you know the journal in which the article you seek appears, you can search for that journal from the Galter Library website. Be sure to sign in to the Galter Library website or the NU VPN if you are off campus.

  1. Use the search box in the banner of the Galter Library website or choose Journals, Books, and Databases from the Find Resources menu.
  2. Enter the title of the journal (or the first few words within the title).
  3. The journal you seek may be available from more than one vendor. Check the availability date range to determine the appropriate access point to the journal and choose the appropriate link.
  4. Search the journal website to locate the article you seek.

If you encounter problems retrieving full-text articles using any of these methods, please contact us or call us at 312-503-8109.

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Updated: September 2nd, 2015 09:10