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Journal Source Gathering

The purpose of this guide is to help senior and junior journal staff members through the source gathering process. This guide covers the most reliable sources for some of the most used items found on subscription databases and on the Internet.

Finding Articles

Start in the Aricles tab in Discovery.

Use Google Scholar or Google to search  for an institutional repository (IR).  Many academic institutions are making their scholarship freely available through their IR. 



A few law schools publish an online only journal.  These are often supplements to their primary journal.  As there is no print version available, you will have to use the online version available at the journal's homepage.

If you still cannot find the article,  you may want to look at the Verify Citation tab for tips.  Or, you can ask a Reference Librarian.

If the Hofstra University Libraries do not have the journal required, you will need to interlibrary loan (ILL) the article.  The interlibrary loan tab provides more information for the ILL procedure.

You have the article citation and are to find a copy of the article from an acceptable source either print or electronic.  Many but not all of the electronic resources provide PDFs of the articles.  Some will provide the full-text in html format.  The html format is acceptable so long as it is provided by a reputable vendor (example BNA).

  1. Is this a legal or non-legal article? 
    • You have different starting points for legal (HeinOnline) and non-legal (Journal Finder) articles.
  2. Can we find the journal at Hofstra University?
    • You are looking for the title of the journal NOT the title of the article.
    • Hofstra University Libraries may have access to the journal in print, electronic or both.
  3. What is the date range for a journal's holdings at Hofstra University?
    • A journal may be found in several sources but only one may have the date needed.
    • Publishers may embargo recent volumes or issues from electronic databases.
  4. Is the article citation correct?
    • A simple typo can confuse the citation.  For example,  the author gives the date as 1978 when the correct date is 1987.
  5. What do you do when you cannot find the article in any Hofstra University Library resource?
    • See a Reference Librarian.  The article may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) from another library.  

You may not be able to find the article by citation because there is an error with the citation.  This is when you use author and/or article title information to find it.

The following resources are recommended.



Was the article you need cited in another article?  Search Hein Online, Lexis or Westlaw for the correct citation.

Ask a Reference Librarian for assistance.

Hofstra University Libraries may not have the journal title needed or the volume/date needed.  It is time to interlibrary loan (ILL) the article.

  1. Verify Citation
  2. Verify that the article cannot be found at Axinn with a Reference Librarian.  Once the Reference librarian approves:
    1. Either complete the online Google form for your journal (see links below) or give your Research editor the citation information with the approving Reference librarian's name.  This name is required.  
    2. If you found the article but not the journal cover page or the issue's Table of Contents (TOC), contact a Reference librarian.  We will not accept an ILL request for just the cover page and TOC.
  3. We do not ILL statutes, most case law, or articles published in html by the publisher (example BNA).
  4. If you are having problems verifying the citation, ask a Reference Librarian for assistance.