Getting to electronic resources: the tyranny of choice

choice photoChoice is usually seen as a good thing but when you just want to get into an electronic resource, having to choose which link button to click on to get to an article more often than not simply gets in the way.

There are often several full-text links in a Discovery or database record that are not always presented in a helpful or intuitive order: the link you want is rarely the first one you see or the most prominent.  We are trying to present them better but we are limited by what our suppliers give us.

Use this simple rule of thumb: always click on the “online access” button, if there is one.  Only choose “Full Text Finder” if it is the only full-text option available.  Full text finder does not work as reliably as the less obvious direct “online access” links and has the unhelpful habit of depositing you on the journal homepage and expecting you to then find your way to the article you want by looking for the right volume and page, or searching within the journal for the article you want, rather than immediately finding the article for you.


Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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