Using Electronic Journals at the University of Hawai‘i

Like many schools today, the University of Hawai‘i buys electronic access to many more academic journals than the libraries now receive in print. The Electronic Resources can be searched or browsed by journal title or keywords, or you can explore subjects through the series of research guides compiled by the librarians. Journal content can be searched through a number of databases, such as Academic Search Premier (through EBSCO) or Web of Science (WoS), but no single database indexes all the journals available.

Using Google Scholar

Often the quickest way to get to a paper is by using Google Scholar, which will find most academic books and articles. If you've already done a regular google search, you can switch to "Scholar" under the "More" menu across the top of the page:


Google Scholar will often locate multiple copies of a paper, shown under All [x] versions. This is handy because it might lead you to an author's homepage, or to a freely accessible pdf, as well as to one or more of the online repositories of papers, such as Ingenta, Muse or JSTOR.

If you've found a paper on one of these providers, you can take a shortcut to get UH access to the file in one of two ways. You may notice that once you're logged in, all addresses have the phrase in the first part of the URL (the address in the browser), so the fist shortcut method is to just paste that into the address. For instance, if your article is at, you can use to access the article.

The second is to paste the prefix in front of the web address. This tells the browser to take you to the UH Mānoa login screen and then on to your paper; if you're already logged in, it will lead directly to the paper. So you could go to to get to the above article. (You can also add a bookmarklet to do that, by right-clicking this link and adding it as a bookmark, or dragging it to your bookmarks bar.)

You can also use either of these techniques to set up your google search through UH, i.e.: or

Note that Google Scholar does not access all the databases which UH uses, so that it will show articles from The Holocene, for example, only in the SAGE repository, in which UH has no access to them, but not in the EBSCO repository, in which we do.

Looking for other access

You can check on UH access through the Voyager Online Catalog; this will also tell you if the library has a physical print copy of the journal available.  However, because institutional subscriptions to journals are expensive, UH doesn't subscribe to everything, and sometimes you'll find papers you can't get, particularly if they're older or in languages other than English.  In this case, there are a couple of other things to try.

First, if you have friends at other schools, you can ask them if they have access to journals that we don't, and if they could get the paper for you.

Next, you might be able to get the paper from the author. Many scholars post their papers on their websites (if the paper you're looking for has multiple authors you can check all of their sites) and/or are happy to send a copy to students who contact them. An advantage to this approach is that you may learn about other papers by the author that could be useful to you. When you are trying to find scholars' websites, it often helps to add to the search terms.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If UH has neither electronic access nor a hard copy of the journal, you can sometimes get the article from another library by logging into Interlibrary Services and filling in a request form. (You can also borrow books from other libraries — and if you locate them in WorldCat, it can fill in the information automatically — but books take longer.) Articles or book chapters are usually scanned and sent through email, so they'll arrive faster than books, sometimes even within a couple of days.

Other library resources

The greatest strength of the UH libraries is the library staff, who can often help locate the information you're looking for.  If you haven't ever done a library orientation or tour, you can arrange for one, which will probably show you resources at the library that you didn't know about before.

I hope that's useful! Happy Foraging!


updated 6 February 2012

Note: this page replaces an earlier (2004) set of notes to reflect changes in the UH online journal system.

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