Answered By: Priscilla Coulter
Last Updated: Jul 29, 2022     Views: 7584

First, an ounce of prevention:   as you're doing your research, keep careful track of the sources that you think you'll want to use in your paper A research journal and citation management tool can be a big help.

When you've lost that perfect article or book, don't panic.  Try these steps to recover it: 

  • If you can remember all or part of the title or an exact quote from the text, search for it in quotation marks in the database where you found it originally (or, if you can't remember where you were searching, try Google Scholar). 
  • If you can remember an author or editor, try searching by author name
  • If you remember what keywords you were using when you found it, try them again (in the same database, if possible).  If you can remember the author, add the name to your keywords, too (for example:  time management AND Smith).

You might find the full text again when you try the steps above.  But, if all you find is a  complete citation, that's a good place to start.  The FAQs below will show you how to track down an article or book with a citation:

Still can't find it?   Email the librarians with as much information as you can, and we'll see what we can dig up for you.

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