This question is included in the tutorials feature of Western Libraries, so I’ll start with their response:

“Get it @ Western is like a ‘bridge’ between many of our online databases and Western Libraries’ online full text collections. It should tell you when the Library has access to the online “Full Text” version of an item, and it should take you from an online database to the online full text version of an item, when available.”

All right, so perhaps not the entire answer to your question. And Get it @ Western doesn’t always work.

So my response to this question is that Get it @ Western was developed as one solution to the problem of searching for journal articles (they’re annoyingly hard to find, especially when you’re first trying to find them!)

You will see the Get it @ Western button either when you’ve clicked on an article title in Summon, or when you’re searching for articles in a subject-specific database.  You won’t find Get it @ Western buttons in every single database you use, but when it’s there you can usually find full-text articles quickly.  I’ve included a screenshot of the database called Web of Science below so you can see an example:

Web of Science

To retrieve your article, click the Get it @ Western button (in the above example, you would do this only for the third and fourth results; the first and second results already have the “Full text from Publisher” option, and you can click there to see a PDF of the document).

A new window will open. Usually the page shows the full text of the article. When this happens, Get it @ Western is linking you from the original database where you conducted your search to the database where we pay for full-text access to the article. If this doesn’t happen automatically, you may need to click on a Download link to get the article.

Still, there are rare occasions where the resource is harder to locate. For example, sometimes you might get a result like the one below:

Get it at Western - not available online

If you see this page come up, don’t immediately assume that you can’t access the article. Even if we don’t have online access to the journal volume you want, there’s still a chance we may have a print version at one of the libraries on campus. Click on the link that reads: “Check UWO shared library catalogue” to find out for certain. You can get the volume with your article sent to you, or come directly to the library to pick it up.

Get it @ Western isn’t perfect – but it does usually work, even if it occasionally requires users to do a bit of independent searching on their own. For more assistance on finding full-text articles, you can see another blog post (which provides further detail about searching for and locating journal articles without Get it @ Western).

Note: this blog post was written by Heather Campbell in 2010. It was partially re-written and updated by Katie Holmes in November 2017.