Getting the Article
Abstracts vs. Full Text
A lot of time the article is just a click away, but not every result that the databases give is always the complete article! There are actually two types of results that you can get, abstracts and full text.
Abstracts are kind of like what’s written on the back of a book, or like movie trailers. They show you the big picture of what an article is about so that you can tell if you want to see the rest of it. The abstract will also give you all the information you need to get an article if it’s not available online!
Full Text, on the other hand, is the whole article from start to finish. Usually what most people are searching for is full text. Full text also comes in a couple of different formats, the two most common being HTML and .pdf.
Nearly all computers can easily read both of these formats, and generally either one should be fine. If you are trying to access these files from home, and have problems with the .pdf format, then click here and download the “Acrobat Reader” program for free that will allow you to view .pdf files.
Many of the databases available to us will give us full text right where we search it, but some of them give only abstracts. The abstracts will get you to the full article! Check the next section, called “Article Linker” to find out how!