What in the world does that citation say? Here's a quick tutorial you might want to go through which will teach you how to read a citation.

How to Read a Citation

Searching for a Specific Article

Perhaps you are looking for a specific article - one that your professor told you to find, or maybe one that you found listed in the references or works cited list of another article or book - how might you go about finding it? Using the example citation Citation: a written reference to a specific work or portion of a work (book, article, dissertation, report, music composition, etc. by a particular author, editor, composer, etc., that clearly identifies the document in which the work is to be found. below, follow these steps in order to find a specific article.

example citation

  1. First, find the name of the journal. In this case, the journal's name is Cell.
  2. Using BearCat, do a title/journal title search for the journal's name.
  3. In many cases, especially if the name of the journal is one word, or a common short phrase, you may retrieve many results. Find the journal by looking at the icons - you may find that we have the journal in only in print, only electronically, or often, we have both: some years in print, and some electronically.
    • Records that have this icon next to it means it is a book. bearcat_book
    • Records that have this icon next to it means it is a print journal. bearcat_periodical
    • Records that have this icon next to it means it is a journal that is published electronically. bearcat_online
  4. The next part of the citation you need to look at is the year, volume & issue information. Look to see if the year your article was published is covered by either the print or electronic subscription.
    • For the print journal, look at the holdings information in the record to see if your year, volume and issue are covered.

    • For the electronic journal, use the "Click for Full Text" link to get a list of databases in which the journal appears. Make sure to choose a database which covers the year your article was published.

      Click for Full Text
      Journal Links
  5. At this point, whether you have the physical journal in your hand, or are looking at the digital version online, you should browse to the right volume, issue, and page number, you should look for the title and author, and you should find the article you are looking for. (In the case of the example citation, you have found the groundbreaking article in which researchers were able to create stem cells from human skin cells.)