Even the most seasoned researchers get stuck. That is part of the discovery process of research.
A few suggestions:
- Change things up: try a different kind of database, change your keywords, try a citation chase
- Talk to your professor or TA: they are researchers and can help direct you
- Contact your librarian: email Michael Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org, make an appointment with him here, or contact a librarian by subject specialization
What do I do if I hit a paywall?
Using Penn subscribed databases sends you through the Libraries "proxy." The proxy is the key that unlocks the subscription paywalls. You should never have to pay for a journal article. Talk to your librarian if you run into trouble connecting to an article. 99% of the time they can help you get the article quickly.
To avoid paywalls:
- Connect to databases through library guides like this one or through Franklin Catalog.
- Set Lean Library up in your browser--The Lean Library Library Access Browser Extension allows you to easily connect to Penn Libraries' licensed content from your laptop or desktop computer when off-campus. Lean Library also offers a mobile app version called Academic Browser for iOS.
- Use Google Scholar Advanced settings to recognize your Penn affiliation.
- Click the three short lines or "hamburger' in the right hand corner
- Click settings > library links > Search for University of Pennsylvania in the search box > check University of Pennsylvania - Full Text via Penn Text > save
If we don't have direct access to an article or book chapter, you can "Request Scan" (the Libraries will request from another library--turn around time can be quick!) or request books from "Request Print," which will trigger a request from one of our partner libraries. Log into Franklin Catalog to see all of your options.