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2021 - PHCY 504 - Primary and Secondary Literature Tutorial: Accessing Library Resources

Created by Health Science Librarians

Locating Information - Introduction

Once you have completed your searches, you'll want to read the full text of any studies that look like they might answer your question. The following sections include a number of tips for accessing full-text articles and books, whether or not UNC has immediate access to them. 

Search for the Article Title in a Database

Often, the quickest way to find a specific article is to search for the Article Title in a database like PubMed or Google Scholar and then use the Find @ UNC option to go to the full-text article.

Always connect to databases from UNC-CH Library pages so you will see the Find @ UNC button.


Look for this article:
Authors Wardrop PJ, Ravichandran S, Hair M, Robertson SM, Sword D. Article Title Do wind and brass players snore less? A cross-sectional study of snoring and daytime fatigue in professional orchestral musicians. Journal Title Clinical Otolaryngology. Year & Month 2011 Apr; Volume & Issue 36(2): Pages 134-8.

  • To search PubMed, use the search box on the HSL Homepage. Use the Find @ UNC button on the PubMed results page to look for the full-text article.



  • To search Google Scholar, use the link in the Quick Link box below the search box on the HSL homepage. Use the Find @ UNC link on the Google Scholar results page to look for the full-text article.

Quick Links

Google Search

Not online? Request the Article PDF

The libraries can't provide full-text online for every article. Some smaller journals and some older articles are not available immediately through the libraries. Not to worry! The libraries may have the print journal to scan a PDF or can get a PDF from another library.

  • When the article is not online via Find @ UNC, a page with other ways to get the article is displayed.
  • First, click on the Search CrossRef link to see if it is freely available on the web.
  • If not, you can use Request it from another Library link to get the PDF. 

Chewing gum

Request it from another Library links you to a page where you can log into or create an interlibrary loan/document delivery account. Once logged into, you will see a pre-populated article request form with the information about the article. You can request either articles from journals that we have in print or articles from journals that we don't have. You do not need to know who does own the journal.

You will receive an email notification when your request is filled. Articles get delivered electronically, generally within 2-3 business days.

Register for an ILL Account

Go the the ILL web page and register for an Interlibrary Loan account now.

Then, when you need to use ILL, you will be all set to go.
There is no charge for ILL services.

Does the library have this book?

If you have the title or author of a specific book, you can use the search box on the HSL homepage and search for it. Make sure to click on the word "Catalog" to select that search options from the 4 that are available. Here we’ve searched for Netter's Concise Radiologic Anatomy.


It looks like there are two records for this book. One record says "Online access." That means the library owns it as an ebook. The second record has a call number—that means that the library owns it as a print book. Notice that these two records are not for the same edition of the book: the ebook is the 2014 edition, while the print book is the 2009 edition. It's not always true that the ebook version is newer than the print version, though, so be sure to check if you need a specific edition of the book for class.

screenshot with request button, call number of print book, and link to ebook highlighted

How do I access an ebook?

To access the ebook version of a book, you can click on the link that says "Full text available via the UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries", like the link highlighted in the image above. In some cases, you may be asked to enter your Onyen in order to access the book.

How do I find a print book?

The catalog record of a print book tells you what UNC library the book is found in, and what the call number is. For example, Netter's Concise Radiologic Anatomy is at the Health Sciences library, and the call number is WN 17 W373n 2009.

The Health Sciences Library shelves materials by type and year. Books published from 1990 to the present are shelved on the 3rd floor, so that is where you would find this book. To learn more about where the Health Sciences Library shelves different kinds of materials, see Arrangement of Collections.

What if the book I want is at another library on campus (not the Health Sciences Library)?

If you don't have the time to go across campus to another library, you can request your book through Carolina BLU. Just click the Request button with the truck icon to the right of the catalog record. You can see it highlighted in the image above.

The first time you use Carolina BLU you will be prompted to create an Interlibrary Loan account. Create your ILL account now to save time later.

What if the library doesn't own the book I'm looking for?

If the library doesn't own the book you're looking for, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan.

Requesting Books & Placing a Hold on a Checked- Out Book

When you cannot find the book you need in the UNC-CH Libraries Catalog:

You will receive an email when the book is ready for pick-up at the HSL.

When the book you want in the UNC-CH Libraries Catalog is checked out to someone else, you will see the date when it is due to be returned, just below the icon for a little truck.

Catalog Record for a Checked Out Book

Click on the Request link above the Due date to log in and send the book information to your ILL account.

Interlibrary Loan Form Options

On the ILL request form, click on the drop down options next to “If UNC copy is unavailable”

Select whether you want to:

  • Place hold on UNC Copy

You will need to wait for the person who has the book to return it. If the current borrower just checked the book out, she will be able to keep the book until the due date. If she has already renewed the book, it will be recalled. The due date will be no more than two weeks from when you made the request.

  • Order from outside library

Loans from outside libraries may only be for a short period of time, depending on the policies of the lending library.

You will receive an email when the book is ready for pick-up at the HSL.