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Newspapers: Finding a Known Article

Sometimes you already know the exact article that you want to find.

For example, maybe you want to find the article "A Wake-Up Call for Grads: Entry-Level Jobs Aren’t So Entry Level Any More," which was published in the Wall Street Journal.

You Google it, and find it on the Wall Street Journal's website... but there's a paywall. You can't see the whole article.

How do you find the whole article in the library databases?

Follow the two steps below:

Step 1: Check to see whether Simpson Library has the newspaper

Step 1 is to check to see whether the newspaper you want is in Simpson Library's collections (in print, in a database, or on microfilm).

  • For famous newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal or New York Times, check the list on the front page of this guide.
  • For less-famous newspapers, use the Journal Search, which finds newspapers as well as journals.

The Journal Search may give you more than one search result for a given newspaper. For example, if you search for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, you'll see the results pictured below.

Different search results can include different years in which the newspaper was published. Be sure to click on results that include the year of the article you're looking for. (If you see a result with no years listed, click on it to view the years.)

A screenshot of search results from the Journal Search, showing four results for the Richmond Times-Dispatch


If Simpson Library has the newspaper, great! Move on to Step 2. If Simpson Library does not have the newspaper, you can request the article from another library using Interlibrary Loan.

Step 2: Find the article within that newspaper

Step 2, after you've found the newspaper, is to find the article inside the newspaper.

For example, imagine that you're looking for the article "A Wake-Up Call for Grads: Entry-Level Jobs Aren’t So Entry Level Any More," which was published in the Wall Street Journal in 2019.

Does Simpson Library have the Wall Street Journal for 2019? Yes. According to the list, Simpson Library has the Wall Street Journal for 2019 in two different databases. If you follow the link to the first database -- ABI/INFORM -- you'll see this:

A screenshot of the Wall Street Journal in the database ABI/INFORM, with a search box that says "Search within this publication"


There is a search box labeled "Search within this publication." Use that box to search for the headline in ABI/INFORM and find the full text of the article. Once you've found it, that's it! You're done.


A caution sign

Beware! Newspaper companies sometimes change the headline of an article, so the article appears in print (and in the database) under a different headline than the headline you saw on the internet.

For example, on the website of the Wall Street Journal, the article has the headline "A Wake-Up Call for Grads: Entry-Level Jobs Aren’t So Entry Level Any More," but in print (and in the database ABI/INFORM) the article has a completely different headline.

Articles might have different publication dates, too. The Wall Street Journal's website says that this article was published on May 10th, but the database says that the article was published on May 11th.

So, if you search for the headline in the database, and you don't find the article, try searching for the author instead. Headlines change and dates change, but authors don't change.

A screenshot of an old newspaper