Tutorial: Navigating from a Citation to a Document

You have a citation to an article, either in a journal or a book. How do you find that article in the Library's resources?

Navigating from a Citation to a Journal Article

Usually the quickest way to get to an online article is through Journals A-Z.

Find a link to Journals A-Z on the Library homepageThis service uses Get It Trent! to search all our online journals - over 30,000 titles.

  1. Enter the first few words of the journal title.
  2. Chose "starts with", and click "Go". (You can choose "Contains" if you're not sure of the exact title.)
  3. It finds every online journal available to Trent that begins with the words you typed. (Remember it's looking at journal titles, NOT article titles. That's why you need the citation to tell you which journal it's in.)
  4. Click on the title that matches the one you need.


Here's a screen capture of a search for an e-journal:

screen capture for E-Journals A-Z search


A new window opens with information about that journal's availability.

  1. You see a list of provider sites where we can access that journal.
  2. Under each provider it tells you which volumes/dates are available for that journal from that site.
  3. The bottom link usually offers the option to search the Library Catalogue for the same journal in print.
  4. Choose the link that matches what you need.

screen capture of results list: click links to available sites, note the dates available from each site.


Click on a link to be connected to the site where the journal is stored.  It will get you as close as possible to the journal you requested.

  • From there, navigate to the volume and issue provided in the citation.


This 2.5-minute video is a media alternative, demonstrating the steps outlined in the previous tab for using E-Journals A-Z to navigate from a citation to an online article. 

If it doesn't present well for you in this box, you can access it on YouTube.

The Library catalogue, provides information on the majority of our journals, both online and print.

  • Search for journals by title or periodical title.
    • "Title" searches all titles, including periodical titles.
    • "Periodical Title" searches only the periodicals, so your list is shorter.
  • Most of the time, the Library Catalogue finds the journal you need.
  • See our Library Catalogue tutorial on searching by title.

In some cases we have access to online journal articles that are NOT included in the Library Catalogue.

  • The reason for this is complicated, but it's because we don't subscribe to the journal directly. 
  • The content of some journals is included in some of the indexes we subscribe to.
  • Our Library staff can't keep track of every individual issue of these journals, so they're not in the Library Catalogue.  That's what E-Journals A-Z is for.
  • If you don't find the journal you're looking for in the Library Catalogue, always try Journals A-Z before you give up.

A digital object identifier (DOI) is a unique name given to an online document.  If you have the DOI for an article, it should link  directly to the article. 

However, a DOI points to an item at a specific location.  If our Library obtains it from a different provider, you may not be able to access it this way - try a different access method.

To use a DOI, click on the link below to get to the resolver site and enter your DOI in the search box. 


You can also Google your DOI, but if it's not authenticated through our proxy server you may not get access.

For more information on using a DOI, see our help page.

Can't find it in the Library Catalogue or Journals A-Z?  Perhaps the Trent Library doesn't subscribe to it.

If the journal is not owned by Trent, either online or in print, you can order the article through RACER - our Interlibrary Loans system. We'll get it for you from another library.

There's no charge for this service, but you do need to allow us several days at least to get it. At busy times, it may take weeks.

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