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E-Journal FAQs

Answers to some commonly-asked questions about e-journals at Galter.

FAQs about Availability of Electronic Journals

How do I find out what journals or articles are available electronically? Is there an alphabetical list of electronic journals? 

The quickest way is to use GalterSearch. You can search by title, keyword, author or subject. We do not have an alphabetical list of journals - creating one on the fly slows the performance of the library's website.

Consider installing LibKey Nomad Browser extension. It is a browser extension that simplifies and streamlines access to Northwestern Library’s subscription resources. Adding the extension to your browser enables one-click access to full text articles from publisher pages, PubMed, Google Scholar, Wikipedia, and more.

Note: Not all our electronically-available journals are indexed in PubMed.

How do I tell what years are available electronically?

After locating a journal in GalterSearch, click "Online Access" to display the years of coverage available electronically. If a title has any restrictions on its date coverage, such as the previous year's worth of issues being unavailable, then that will be mentioned.

Why aren't more years covered electronically?

Financial considerations usually determine which years are available electronically. Most journals are covered from the mid-90s onwards. Some content providers specialize in archival issues, such as JSTOR.

Why can't I get a PDF of a journal article that's available online?

Publishers offer their journals in HTML or PDF formats (and sometimes both). PDF (Portable Document Format) is usually preferable because it mirrors the print version, complete with images, typeface, and pagination. Adobe Acrobat Reader software is required to view it (available on the Adobe website at no cost). No additional software is needed to view HTML articles. Unfortunately, the library has no control over which format the publisher offers, but the majority of publishers now offer their journal articles in PDF format, and you will find that older content is only available in HTML.

Why aren't all the journals available online through MEDLINE?

The library offers access to MEDLINE via two separate interfaces, Ovid and PubMed. Ovid MEDLINE provides full-text links to many titles in the library's e-journals collection through Journals@Ovid and OpenLinks. 

Owing to licensing restrictions, not all publishers will provide links to their journals in MEDLINE. If you do not see a direct full text link in either version of MEDLINE, make sure to click on the . This will often retrieve access to full text that might not be listed on the previous screen and will provide a link to order articles via interlibrary loan from journals not licensed by NU libraries.

If the library doesn't have the journal I want, what are my options?

Place an interlibrary loan request. Turnaround time is usually 3 to 10 working days and the article will be made available for you to download in electronic format.

How do I request the library subscribe to a particular journal?

If you would like to suggest that the library acquire access to a particular title, then please fill out the Request an Item be Added to the Collection form.