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Primo Discovery Search: Discover Books, Journal Articles, and More

Try out our recently updated discovery search tool! This tool allows you to search Alma (our new library catalog), as well as our online journal and book databases


Some questions and answers related to Primo Discovery

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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles


Why didn't the full text link lead me to my article?

There are several possible reasons why an article might not  be available:  (1) Sometimes the article citation appears before the publisher has made the full text available. (2) The publisher or author is withholding or placing an 'embargo' on the full text of this article within the particular database.  (3) Primo uses the citation information (volume, issue, and page number) to attempt to link directly to the article. If there is a typographical or other error by the database vendor in the citation, Primo will not be able to find and link to the article directly.

Strategies to try:  Try navigating to the article using the native database interface that Primo has directed you to, using a keyword or title search within that database. Or, try clicking on a link to a different database name in your “view online” results, to see if the article is available in a different database. You also may be able to find a similar, related article you could use, in your Primo search results. If you find we do not have the article in full text at BCTC Library and you want to have that specific article for your research, you can request it using our ILL service at

Why are there multiple options for full text for some journals?

For some journals, we have full text access from the publisher site. Many times the full text is also available to BCTC in one or more article databases.  Therefore, for some titles, Primo shows full text access through several options or links. This redundant coverage is particularly useful as a back-up when one access point is temporarily unavailable.

Why do some full text links take you to the journal homepage (or Table of Contents or article abstract) and not the full text of the specific article?

Primo is set up to navigate as close to the full text as it can. This is dependent on the structure of the publisher's site and their "link-to" syntax, when the article's access is provided directly from the publisher's website,  Some publishers only allow linking to the journal level, others to the Table of Contents, and others to the full text of the article itself. This varies from site to site. Occasionally, you may have to navigate through the publisher's web site to get to the article you are looking for.

Why is an error message sometimes given after the link to full text opens the publisher's site?

These error messages can mean that full text exists at the publisher's site, but the Primo generated URL wasn't accepted. (In this case you may be able to navigate through the publisher's site to your article.) In some cases, the full text you need is no longer available at the site, but the server doesn't have this information - you will not be able to access full text in this case because it no longer is available from this resource.

Subject Guide

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Maureen Cropper
Librarian / Professor
BCTC - Lexington, KY


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