The Griffin, Link to the Bioscience Library Home Page

Bio1B Help Pages

Getting Articles

horizontal rule

Doing your library research off-campus?  Click here for more information about accessing electronic articles from off-campus.

Getting Articles Online

If you need to find articles on your research topic, see Searching for ArticlesIf you've found an article citation but need to get the full text, read on!

Article databases often contain citations to articles, but not the full text.

To access the article's full text, click the UC-eLinks button button. From all Bioscience Library article databases, clicking on the UC-eLinks button will provide you with:

  1. A direct link to the full text of the journal article, if UC Berkeley has an online subscription to the journal.
  2. A link to information about the journal in Melvyl so you can find the location and call number of the print version of the journal.
  3. A Request link for obtaining the article from another library if it is not owned by UC Berkeley.
  4. A link for importing the article’s citation into your RefWorks account. What's this?
  5. Options for getting help: links to "Ask a Librarian" (live chat with a librarian), the UC-eLinks FAQ, and a form for reporting problems with UC-eLinks.

You can also browse the Bioscience Library's list of electronic journals to see if we have online access to a specific journal.

horizontal rule

Getting Articles in Print

To find out if we have a print subscription to the journal in which an article was published, search OskiCat or Melvyl for the title of the journal (NOT the article title!).


journal title search in Oskicat 


journal title search in Melvyl 

OskiCat or Melvyl will tell you:

  • if we subscribe to the journal you're looking for
  • which years we have
  • whether our subscription is print ("hard-copy") or online
  • where to find the journal on the Berkeley campus (library and call number where the journal is shelved; see Locating Call Numbers below).
Once you've found the call number for a journal in OskiCat or Melvyl, you're ready to find it on the shelf! 

Journals in the Bioscience Library may be shelved bound:bound journals

or unbound:. unbound journals

Recent issues (usually less than a year old) are generally unbound. In the Bioscience Library, unbound issues are shelved alphabetically by title near the front of the library. Bound journals are shelved in call number order in the stacks, along with books.

Floor plans of the library will show you where to look for a specific call number.  The Bioscience Library has its floor plan online; you can find the same floor plan displayed at the circulation desk, the reference desk, and at several other locations throughout the library.

If you need to find out if we have the latest issue of a journal in print: To see what issues of a journal the Library has received,

  • Search OskiCat for the title of the journal (NOT the article title!)
  • From the search results page, click on the journal's title to see its full record in OskiCat.
  • Click on Latest issue received
  • Recent issues of journals are shelved by title near the front of the library.
horizontal rule

Locating Call Numbers

Library of Congress call numbers organize the books in the Bioscience Library (and most other UC Berkeley libraries). Call numbers designate the major subject of a book and also serve as its "address" on the shelves.

To find call numbers: Use OskiCat or Melvyl

Reading call numbers (these four examples are in the order they would appear on the shelf):

Q Q QH QH Read this top part alphabetically (A, B, Q, QL, etc...)
1 303 303 Read this middle part as a whole number (1, 2, 3, etc...)
    .15 .2 Read this part (if present) as a decimal number (0.22, 0.3, etc...)
.B47 .B6 .W67 .A47 Read the numerical part as a decimal number
2008   1996 1992 This part (if present) is the date of publication

To check out materials: take them to the Circulation Desk. Your UC Berkeley photo ID card is your library card. 

Learn more about borrowing library materials

If the book or journal you want is not on the shelf where it belongs:
  1. Look on the shelves nearby.
  2. Look on the sorting shelves and shelving trucks located in the sorting area opposite the Copy Room. There are also sorting shelves on the two upper levels. OskiCat or Melvyl will show you if the book you want is already checked out and when it is due back.
  3. If you still can't find what you're looking for, ask at the Bioscience Library reference desk or circulation desk.
horizontal rule

Finding an Article from a Citation

If you already have the information do you find the whole article?

citation example

There are several ways of determining if the article you're looking for is available at Berkeley:

Option 1: Use the UC-eLinks Citation Linker.

Go to the Citation Linker, enter as much citation information as you have, and click Continue. UC-eLinks will take you either directly to the article, to the journal website (where you can browse or search for the article), or to the UC-eLinks menu, which will offer a series of options for finding the article online or in print.

Option 2: Use Google Scholar to locate a citation for the article, and UC-eLinks to retrieve the full text.

In some cases, the quickest way to find an article you're looking for is to use Google Scholar. You can enter your search words (try the article title and author's name) in the basic search screen, or go to the Advanced Search Screen for more options. If you can find a record for your article in Google Scholar, you should see a UC-eLinks link or button, like this: UC-eLinks or this: UC-eLilnks . Click on UC-eLinks to see your options for retrieving the full text (remember to set up the proxy server or VPN if you're off-campus).

Note: Google Scholar does not cover all scientific publishers, and many journals indexed by Google Scholar have partial coverage only (some years/volumes missing). Also, not all articles found through Google Scholar will be available online. If you can't find the full text of your article this way, read on for more options!

Option 3: Use an article database to locate a citation for the article, and UC-eLinks to retrieve the full text.

You can use an article database provided by the UC Berkeley Libraries (like BIOSIS, PubMed, Web of Science, etc.) to search for your article by author and article title.

Once you've found a record for your article in the database, you'll see the UC-eLinks button, which allows you to see your options for accessing the full text of the article online or in print. In many cases, UC-eLinks will provide a direct link to the full text of the electronic version of the article:

full article on publisher's website

Option 4: Look up the journal title in OskiCat or Melvyl

You can also search for the title of the journal (NOT the article title!) in either OskiCat or Melvyl.  They will tell you:

  • if we subscribe to the journal you're looking for
  • which years we have
  • whether our subscription is print ("hard-copy") or online
  • what the call number is (for print journals)
  • where to find the journal online (for online journals)
  • what's the latest issue we've received (OskiCat only, for print journals; more help with this)

See Getting Articles in Print for more information on searching OskiCat and Melvyl; see Locating Call Numbers for more help with reading call numbers and locating them within the library.

When the journal title is abbreviated:
In most cases, you can just search OskiCat or Melvyl by entering the abbreviation exactly as you have it (select Title/Journal Title from the pulldown Search menu); you can also refer to a list of journal title abbreviations to get the full name of a journal. If you still can't figure out what the journal abbreviation stands for, contact the Bioscience Library reference desk.

Option 5: Go to the journal's website and browse its archives to find your article.

Use the Bioscience Libary's list of links to UCB-subscribed electronic journals -- be sure to search for the title of the journal, not the article title! Remember that not all journals are available online, and some journals have not put their complete archives online.

If you can't find the journal you're looking for in our list of electronic journals, then search OskiCat or Melvyl to find out if we have the journal in print format.

Not finding what you need? Contact a librarian!
Please visit us at the Reference Desk between 1 - 5 pm Monday-Friday, or call us at (510) 642-0456. Or, send us an email. We're here to help!

U.C. Berkeley Library Web
Copyright © 2014 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Comment Form. Last update: 06/04/15

Marian Koshland Bioscience and Natural Resources Library masthead