Literature references can be a bit cryptic. Say you're confronted with this one:
What does it mean? First separate the reference into its component parts:
AUTHORS: Brown, A.S.; Milton, M.J.T.; Cowper, C.J.
SOURCE (usually a journal, typically abbreviated): Journal of Chromatrography A.
VOLUME NUMBER: 1040
Note that in chemistry bibliographies the article title is usually not given. This is basically the minimum amount of information you'll need to actually FIND the article.
Next, you have to determine if YOU (as a student at UT-Austin) have access to this article from this journal or not, and if so, whether it's available electronically or just in print. There are several ways to do this, and it's not always straightforward.
2. User the Journal search form in SciFinder. Enter pieces of the reference that you know, such as author surname, year, volume number, a word from the journal title, etc. It should pull it right up. Then use the "Other Sources" button to go to full text, if available.
3. Search in our Library Catalog or Journals database by the title of the journal in question (no abbreviations). This will tell you if we have the journal in print, or online, and what years/volumes we have.
Just because you can find the article on the web doesn't mean you'll have access to it. Most of the published scientific literature lies behind paywalls and is open only to those at institutions that subscribe to the journal in question, or who are willing to pay a fee to see it. If you hit a paywall, keep that credit card in your wallet. Check first in our Library Catalog to see if we have a hardcopy of the journal in our collection (mostly for volumes before 2000). If we do, you can request a free scan. If we don't, you can still request a free scan via Interlibrary Service, and we'll get it for you from another source, usually within a day or two.
Another reason you might hit a paywall is if you're not physically on campus. Access to our licensed subscriptions is managed by IP address, and you need a UT Austin campus IP address to be recognized as an authorized user. If you start out on our web pages or in our catalog, you'll be asked to authenticate with your UT EID and Duo when you click a link to a licensed resource. This will establish a proxy session in your browser and you'll be temporarily assigned a UT IP address. More info:
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