Iowa Library Service Areas

How to Obtain Magazine Articles Using

FirstSearch and SILO

FirstSearch has given us new options for filling requests for magazine articles. You now have the ability to find the article in full text in some of the databases on FirstSearch. If you are unable to find the full text article, you can verify the citation and find Iowa holding locations using the Iowa Union List of Serials which is now on the OCLC Union Lists of Periodicals Database. Finding the holdings allows you to go directly to the holding library, resulting in quick service for the library customer. Below are instructions for filling magazine requests using FirstSearch.

First, see if you can find the article in full text in a database on First Search. You can search by name of the magazine, title of the article, author of the article, subject of the request, or ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) using the advanced search technique. Check the Wilson Select database first because you can do unlimited searching, and all of its full text is free.

Once you have chosen a database and executed a search, the results list will appear. If the article you are looking for appears on the list and it is available in full text you will see a link to the full text article. If you have located the full text article in Wilson Select, the article will be free. (If you have located the full text article in another database, it will cost five searches. The five searches will always come off of the fifty searches you have available for the non-user subscription databases. Even if you have used up your fifty searches and the article costs, it is worth it to both you and your customer to be able to provide the article to them immediately.)  Other FirstSearch databases you will want to check for full text articles or to verify your citation are Articles First (full text), and ContentsFirst. ( In all cases full text costs will be deducted from the fifty searches for the non-subscription or per search databases. To ensure that you will not incur a service charge if you go over your fifty searches it is imperative that you set up your deposit account with BCR.)

If the article is not available in full text from FirstSearch you can request the article on interlibrary loan through SILO. Before leaving First Search, verify the citation by clicking on the item in your results list to look at its full record. Click on the "Libraries" button to retrieve the list of libraries that own the specific item; if Iowa libraries own that magazine they will be listed first. If there are Iowa libraries listed it means that they own some issues of that magazine title; you will use the Union Lists database in First Search to find out if the libraries own the specific issue with that article. Choose the advanced search and proceed as follows:

  • In the first blank field input the name of the periodical
  • In the next field choose "title (keyword)."
  • In the next blank field type in the two letter abbreviation for the state of Iowa (ia) in lower case.
  • In the next field choose "state of library."
  • Click on Search.

This should give you a list of Iowa libraries, arranged alphabetically by the library name, that hold the magazine title you are looking for. To determine whether or not the library holds the issue you are looking for, click on an item in the results list and look at the record. It lists the years owned by that library. Write down the names of the libraries that own the desired issue.

To request the article on interlibrary loan through SILO:

  • Log on to SILO interlibrary loan
  • Select "Blank form to request journal article"
  • Fill in the citation information from your FirstSearch search results.
  • Check either CCG or CCL on the request form indicating copyright compliance or the request cannot be sent.
  • In each of the location boxes, enter the seven digit Locator code for one of the libraries that holds the issue of the magazine you are requesting.

(You will find the Locator codes for libraries in the Iowa Library Directory, or on the list of "SILO Participating Libraries," which can be found on SILO:

  1. At the SILO ILL Master Menu, select:
  2. " Access Iowa Library Directory/Library Account Information," then
  3. "View List of ILL Participating Libraries.")
  • Submit the request.

If you have exhausted your list of Iowa locations, send the request on to your Regional Library, according to their interlibrary loan procedures

--Our thanks to Southeastern Library Services, from whose training manual this was adapted.

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