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Systematic Reviews: Locating the actual materials

Library catalogue


See this short tutorial on how to find journal articles in electronic format using the library catalogue:


Library catalogue - remember to search for the journal title also if you don't find the journal article by searching by title and author.

Other libraries


  • Worldcat  and COPAC - identify libraries which hold a copy
  • Visit another library or archive (apply for ALCID andSCONUL access schemes)
Note: TCD is a copyright library for UK and Ireland

Find the open access version of papers

Increasingly scholarly articles are becoming available on an open access basis, often through institutional repositories like our own ARAN or through discipline-based repositories such as arXiv (Physical, Mathematical and Computer Sciences) or SocArXiv (Social Sciences) . The article version on these repositories will usually be the final draft post-refereeing (also known as the post-print), so the only difference to the published version is the absence of the publisher's type-setting, formatting, logos and pagination.  Several tools, services and browser plug-ins have been developed to help you find open access versions of journal articles:

DOAI (Digital Open Access Identifier) is an alternate DOI (Digital Object Identifier) resolver that takes you to a free version of the requested article, when available. To use it, replace by in any DOI link. it uses metadata from Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE).

Google Scholar – searching for an article in Google Scholar will link you to both the paywalled version of the article and openly available versions if available.  Please see our guide to configuring Google so that it will recognise you as an NUI Galway registered user and will link you to subscribed content where the library has a subscription.


EndNoteClick formerly Kopernio – another browser plugin from Clarivate Analytics that will link you to open access versions of articles as well as library subscriptions.  It is necessary to register (for free) to use this plugin.

Open Access Button - a plugin for Chrome or Firefox that works similarly to Unpaywall – click on the button while you are viewing a pay-walled journal article and it will search for open access versions.  If it doesn’t find one, it will give you the option to have them ask the author to make the article available open access.  You can also search directly for a known article by DOI or Citation.

Unpaywall  - a browser plugin for Chrome or Firefox, which will display a green icon when you encounter a pay-wall for a journal article if an open access version of the article is available and will link you directly to it.

More information is available on the Library website about alternative routes to scholarly journal articles 

Interlibrary loans


Use our Interlibrary loans service if you are unable to locate the publication elsewhere. 


Remember to check if we have the publication first! Use the Can't find it link at the top of the library catalogue search screen  to request an interlibrary loan.



Link to full text from databases via SFX

  • Fulltext databases provide full-text; in other databases click on the SFX link to access fulltext:

Where is this link SFX ?

Problems locating full-text

NB: Search by journal title to check if library subscribes to electronic or print version of the journal

If you have problems accessing a journal to which we subscribe, please submit a ticket to our E-Resources team.

To submit a ticket:

  • Log into ServiceDesk
  • In ServiceDesk, go to 02. Library Services - Journals/Databases/Resource Issues
  • After that, the e resource enquiry form will appear, and you can enter the relevant information


Our e-resources team: "Having trouble accessing an e-journal or database?  With over 30,000 online journals, we can't check every one as regularly as we'd like.  So please report problems to us, so we can fix them."