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Finding the ejournal you need

Find ejournal

To find out what ejournals are available, try our Find ejournal service.

Find ejournal includes:

  • View it - check the years for which full text articles are available for each title and link to the full text.
  • Get it - check whether we have the title in print.
  • Details - information about each title which may include the publisher, variant title, series title, language, notes and subject headings.

You can also link to all our ejournals from YorSearch:

  • Library Catalogue - search by journal title and then use the options in the menu on the left of the results screen to refine your results.
  • Search everything - use this option to search for journal articles, conference papers and other documents.

If a journal is available electronically, click the View it link to access the full text.

Link to journal articles from databases

When you get your results from a search of a database, you will see either:

  • an  icon:
  • a link (the name of the link will vary depending on the database)

Click on the icon or link to check if we have the full text of a journal article.  A YorSearch window will open providing information about whether we have access to an article online.  The following tabs may display:

  • View it - you will see the publisher sites where an article is available online, more than one site may be displayed.  Click the name of the site to access the article.
  • Get it - this tab will display if the article is not available online.  To check for a print version search YorSearch by the journal title not the article title.  A search box is displayed above the tabs. 
  • Details - information about each title which may include the publisher, variant title, series title, language, notes and subject headings.

What is a DOI (digital object identifier)?

A DOI is a unique and persistent alphanumeric label, (a NISO standard), created to identify a piece of intellectual property; mostly used for articles in ejournals, but also for ebooks and chapters within them.

As it will not change it can be used to create a stable URL for embedding links to e-resources in web pages, etc.

See our DOI briefing note for more information.

Creating links to ejournals and ejournal articles

The Library currently subscribes to over 10,000 ejournals and ebooks, all of which can be linked to.

The exact linking method varies depending upon the publisher site but there are two main alternatives:

  • YorSearch linking: provides stable URLs though not all publishers allow linking via this method to article level in journals.
  • Direct linking: URLs can link to article level but may be unstable, use this method when a publisher does not provide linking via YorSearch to article level in journals

YorSearch linking

Use the YorSearch Citation Linker linking to capture a stable URL.  YorSearch URLs are stable because the Library maintains a 'knowledge base' for all of its ejournals, which means that URLs are maintained to take account of any changes a publisher may make.

As a result, YorSearch URLs should always remain intact and not produce broken links.

Additionally, YorSearch checks for all full text providers for the article automatically and where appropriate offers multiple routes.

Finally, YorSearch linking provides the user with a consistent initial interface similar to what they will find in databases.

To create a stable YorSearch URL, use one of the following procedures:

Link to a specific journal article using the YorSearch Citation Linker

  • The Citation Linker allows you to enter the details of a specific journal article into a form and then generate a link to YorSearch from where the user can link to the article (or in some cases to the issue of a journal where the publisher does not allow article-level linking).
  • Go to the Citation Linker, select the Article tab and complete as many fields as possible.

The minimum amount of information needed for a workable URL is:

  • Journal title or ISSN
  • Year
  • Volume
  • Issue (part)
  • Article start page

The more information you enter into the Citation Linker, the more complete your citation will be.

Once the details are entered:

  1. Select 'Go' at the bottom of the form. A new window or tab will open showing the details you entered in the form and whether the article is available in full text.  The stable URL is the URL in the address bar of this page. 
  2. To copy the stable URL click on the URL in the address bar to highlight it and then right click to select Copy or use Ctrl + C on your keyboard.
  3. You can then paste the stable URL into your desired location.

The link will then open a YorSearch page showing the specific article details the user can then link to the full text of the article via the View it link.

Some publishers do not support the ability to link to article level and may only link to the journal title level, therefore each link needs to be considered on its merits. If you find that this is the case you may wish to use direct linking.

Direct linking

Where direct linking to an article is appropriate please use the following method.

  • Access the full text of a journal article via YorSearch, a database or other route, display the article and then copy and paste the URL

Beware: this method may be prone to the instability of publisher URLs, should a publisher change their URL the link will be broken and have to be mended if and when it comes to your attention.

Accessing ejournals

On campus

Nearly all our ejournals can be accessed from University network computers without the need for a special username and password.

If you use links in YorSearch or our Find ejournal service you will need to login using your IT Services username and password.

Off campus

All titles are also available off campus. You should use links in YorSearch or our Find ejournal service where you will be asked to log in using your IT Services username and password.

What if I'm not a member of the University of York?

If you are not a University of York member of staff or student, you will only have access to the full text of the small number of journals which are freely available to anyone.

If you are able to visit the Library in person you can access a wider range of ejournals using our Walk-in Access service.  Publishers' licence conditions restrict off campus access to ejournals to University of York staff and students only.

How do I view ejournal content?

There are two formats which are commonly used for ejournals:

  • HTML format
    You can view these pages via your web browser.
  • PDF format
    You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Reader is available on all University network PCs, including classrooms, and can also be downloaded for free from the Adobe website.

Ejournals vs print version

An ejournal may:

  • be an exact full text copy of a print version
  • include only some of the print articles
  • leave out some types of content such as adverts, notices and letters to the editor
  • include all the print material plus extra information only available in the electronic version
  • be electronic only
  • have tables of content only, with or without abstracts (summaries) of the article

The ejournals in Find ejournal all contain full text articles.

Printing and saving articles

Printing articles

You can use the Print option in your browser to print the full text and graphics of an article.

Remember that you can change your print options to reduce your printing costs:

  • Print two pages side by side on one sheet of paper
  • Use double-sided (duplex) printing where available

Saving and downloading articles

You can use the Save option in your browser to save the article to a file.

Copyright legislation restrictions

Remember that copyright legislation applies when you print from an ejournal. The "fair dealing" provision in copyright law permits individuals engaged in research or private study to print or photocopy only one complete article from a single issue of a journal.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are not breaking copyright law.

For more information about copyright please see the Copyright pages.

Publisher licence restrictions

The ejournals we subscribe to are also subject to licence agreements with the publishers who produce them. The conditions of licences with individual publishers and information providers vary, but they always prohibit downloading a substantial part of a database or the entire contents of a publication, for example an entire issue of an ejournal.

It is your responsibility to ensure you are not breaking the licence agreement.


When should I use the Find ejournal service and when should I use a database?

Use the Find ejournal service when you know the journal title you need, for example if you are looking for a reference on your reading list.

Use a database when you need to find out what articles are available on your subject in a range of journal titles. See our E-resources Guide for information on the databases we provide and how they can help you.

Why do some links go directly to the journal title, but others go to a search page?

Some publishers don't allow us to link directly to the specific journal title. In these cases you will need to search for the journal title or for an article title if you have it.

Find ejournal says that a journal is available in full text but the article I want is only an abstract. Why is this?

Some publishers don't give permission for the most recent issues of a journal to be made available in full text electronic format. This embargo can range from a couple of months up to a year, depending on the title. During this time you may still be able to access the table of contents and abstracts.

How much do ejournals cost?

There are a variety of subscription arrangements for ejournals.

  • Some ejournals are free with our print subscription
  • In some cases our subscription covers either the print or electronic form, but not both
  • Sometimes we can pay a supplement to the standard subscription to get both formats
  • Journals in electronic format only are sometimes free, but usually there will be a subscription cost. Free trials are often available for a limited period

NESLi2 is the UK's national initiative for the licensing of ejournals on behalf of the higher and further education and research communities.

Since 1999 we have taken advantage of deals negotiated with leading scholarly publishers which have lessened the financial, legal and technical barriers to the widespread take-up of ejournal provision.

Unfortunately, many publishers are unwilling to offer deals and in these cases ejournals can be an expensive option.

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