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Intro to Research for Graduate Students

To help new graduate students get started with research at the Hunter Libraries.


In the age of the Internet, we are accustomed to being able to access complete documents online, immediately.  While there is a great deal of content available electronically, there is still a large amount of scholarship that exists only in print.  Fortunately, by utilizing electronic databases, you have the power to search the contents of a huge variety of publications, which saves you the trouble of searching through the table of contents or flipping through various print publications.

That way, even if an article you need is not available electronically, at least you know it exists and you should be able to track it down.  This guide will explain the various forms articles can take.  Below, we will look at locating full-text articles from electronic databases.

Let's use some citations found in the database PsycINFO for our example.  I conducted a search for "cultural bias AND intelligence test*".  First of all, why did I end the word "test" with an asterisk (*)?  Because that tells the database to search for words with the root of "test" and all possible endings, so it will search for the words test, tests, testing, etc.  The asterisk is a time-saver!

I found many citations that sound relevant but let's take a look at these two:

If a citation includes one of these two icons, you are in luck - simply click on one of them to access the full-text of the article in question.

Our second citation above has a "PDF Full Text" icon, so if we click on it, a PDF of the entire article will open up and will look something like this:

You now have the option to read it online, print it, save it, email it to yourself, or save it to your "folder" or another storage device.

The first citation in our example doesn't have either Full Text icon, so it is a bit more complicated.  If the Full Text icons are absent, look instead for this button:

Use the "Find it!" button to see if the article you seek is available elsewhere, and in what format.  Clicking on the "Find it!" button opens a new window that looks like this:

What this screen will tell us is the availability of the article you are looking for within the CUNY system.  It will first look across all of the subscription databases at Hunter to see if the article is available in another database Full Text.  It will then look in CUNY+, the library catalog, to see what libraries carry a print subscription to the journal that contains the article.  Luckily for us, the first link on the list says "Full Text Online Elsevier ScienceDirect (UTL)".  That means that the article we are looking for, entitled "Immigrant-majority group differences in cognitive performance..." is available Full Text in the database Elsevier ScienceDirect.  Remember, we conducted our initial search in EBSCO's PsycINFO database.

To access the article, click on the "Full Text Online" link, which will take you to another window in the new database, like this:

Notice we are now in an entirely different database called Science Direct.  Here you have the option to download the PDF Full Text of this article, email it, print it, export it...all the same options you have in most other databases.

If you run into problems locating specific articles even after following the "Find it!" links, please ask a librarian for assistance - it can get complicated, but don't give up!

How to ILL

InterLibrary Loan (ILL) allows you to request books, book chapters and articles that are not available at Hunter. This is especially helpful when conducting literature reviews.

The ILL link can be found on the Libraries home page under the Services menu:




Once you are logged in to the ILL system, using your Hunter email address and password, you will be asked to fill in a form. If you have never used ILL before you will have to fill in profile information to set up an account. Then you will be taken to a form for the item you are requesting: book, chapter or article.

The more detailed and accurate your information, the more quickly and efficiently the ILL staff can process your request. Be sure to double-check your citation and include things like publication date, volume and issue number if you have them.

Please be sure to follow the steps outlined on the ILL page for placing requests! And be aware that items can take up to two weeks to arrive so plan accordingly.

If you have the slightest inking that you might use a particular source, REQUEST IT! You can always send things back or discard them if you don't use them. It is far better to have more options than not enough.



When you are searching in our databases for articles and you click on the "Find it!" button to track down the full text, you may come upon this screen:

If you click on the "Request item via Interlibrary Loan" link, you will be taken directly to the ILL login screen. After logging in, the request form will magically be populated with the data from the citation for the article you are requesting. It's best to double-check that it is accurate, but it will save you a few minutes.