Where’s the full-text? How to find Library Services content you can access immediately

by Laura Mounce on 2023-02-27T08:30:00-04:00 in Research skills, Searching | 0 Comments

UPDATED: February 27, 2023. Original Post: June 18, 2018

Using Google to search for articles might seem quick and easy—until you hit a paywall. Rather than pay for access to an article, Nova Scotia Health staff can use Library Services’ subscriptions and Document Delivery services to access the information they need. Check out four ways to access journal articles through Library Services below and skip the paywalls!

Search in Discover (TDNet)

Discover searches multiple databases and health sciences resources at once—not just content that Nova Scotia Health subscribes to or has in print. You can search Discover for articles, journals, book chapters, and more.

To begin, navigate to the Library’s homepage and select the Discover tab. In the search box, enter the title of the article you are looking for or keywords that focus on your topic. Then click Search.

On your search results page, you can revise your search keywords, if needed, or narrow your search by applying the filters found on the left side. An icon under each search result will display information about full-text access:

  • View full text: You have immediate access to the full text of the article because Library Services has a subscription and pays for access. You can click View full text (1) to view the article, or click the article’s title to go to the article’s library record. From there, you can view more information about the article, as well as options for accessing the full-text.
    NOTE The View full text icon also displays when Library Services owns a print version of an item.
  •  Open Access: The article is free to access for everyone. You can click Open Access (2) to view the article, or click the article’s title to go to the article’s library record. From there, you can view more information about the article, as well as options for accessing the full-text.
  •  Check for full text: We may not currently have access to the article. In that case, request a copy using the Document Delivery form attached to the article’s library record. Click the article’s title or Check for full text (3), then scroll down to complete the form.

NOTE If you only want to see search results that allow immediate full-text access, click Get it at Nova Scotia Health at the top of the list of search filters on the left side of your search results screen.

Use Library Services’ PubMed® or Google Scholar Access Point

Accessing PubMed® or Google Scholar from Library Services’ Databases A-Z list will show which search results provide full-text access through Nova Scotia Health. There are two ways to access the A-Z list from our homepage:

  1. Click the Databases tab on the main search box. Click the dropdown menu to find the database you wish to search.


  1. Click Search Sources in the top navigation menu, then click Databases. Scroll to find the database you want to search.

Click on the name of the database you want to search, then enter your keywords in the search box.

If you are searching in PubMed®, click on a title from your results page. This will take you to the article’s record page, example below. On the right side of the screen, there will be full-text links, if available (4).

If you are searching in Google Scholar, look for full-text access information on the right side of your search results page (5).

Full-text in other databases

Some databases, like APA PsycINFO, allow searchers to filter results by full-text access. Like your Discover search results, your search results in other databases will have icons and words that describe your access:

  • Linked Full Text and Open Access give you immediate access to the article.
  • Check for Full Text means you will need to request the article through Document Delivery.

To limit your search results to items with immediate full-text access, click Linked Full Text or Open Access from the filters on the left side of the search results page.

Request Full-text through Document Delivery

While each item record in Discover contains a Document Delivery form, you can simply use a blank Document Delivery form on the Library’s website: https://library.nshealth.ca/Document-Delivery. Include as much detail as possible and click Send. Library staff will contact you if there are any fees associated with your request.

For more information on any of Library Services’ resources, please reach out to AskLibrary@nshealth.ca.

Laura Mounce

Librarian Educator
Halifax Infirmary, Central Zone

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