“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.”
Alright, 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 it out.
You will see the Get it @ Western button either when you’ve click 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 Knowledge below so you can see an example:
To retrieve your article, click the Get it @ Western button (in the above example, you would do this for the first three results; the fourth, fifth and sixth results already have the “Full text” there, as you can see by the second button).
A new window will open. If “Full Text” appears in that new window, click the “Go” button beside it. Sometimes it will list the year, volume, and page numbers of the article you’re looking for, and sometimes it will say something like “This article is available from Scholars Portal.” Either way, click the “Go” button wherever it says Full Text. What this is doing is linking you from your original database where you conducted your search to the database where we pay for full-text access. For more explanation on this issue, see my blog post on databases.
A third window will open after you click “Go”, where either the full-text of your article will show up, or where a PDF or full text link will appear.
Unfortunately, like many technologies, Get it @ Western isn’t perfect: it simply isn’t able to find the full-text of every single journal you want (I won’t get into explaining why that it is here). How you know it hasn’t worked is if the pop-up Get it @ Western window does not say “Full Text” anywhere, and instead directs you to search the UWO Shared Catalogue.
That said, go ahead and try Get it @ Western out because it does work most of the time (I would estimate 80% of the time or more). But make sure to realize that it’s just one option, and it isn’t perfect. [For more assistance with this, see the blog post on how I find full-text articles]