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Availability of Materials

It is also important to consider availability when searching databases. The Contra Costa College Library may not own all the items included in a database. Many of the library databases are mostly full-text articles, but you may find an article for which the full-text is not provided by the online database.

Article citations from Expanded Academic database showing articles that are available in full-text, and those for which there are only a citation or an abstract

In the database example above, you can see articles for which there is an abstract only, full-text (with an option to view as a Web page by clicking on the word "text" or to view in a PDF file), and citation only.

An abstract is a short description of an article which is usually written by someone other than the author. This short summary can help you decide if an article is related to your research and may help with your assignment. NEVER quote an abstract in a research paper, as it may not be written by the author and it may not accurately convey the author's ideas and intent. ALWAYS read the full article, and use quotations from the full article only.

If you need the materials right away, choose full-text articles when searching the database. If you find an article that sounds perfect but is not full-text (the database only provides a citation or an abstract), ask a librarian about other ways you might be able to obtain the article.

Clock indicating time ticking away on assignment
Chapter 4 — Page 10