Understanding eLink

What does it do and why should you use it

The eLink icon provides multiple ways to access the full text of an article. Sometimes Columbia University will have access to a journal through more than one database. Using the eLink icon will show all the ways an article can be accessed on one page. It also allows access when you are off campus by authenticating with your UNI. 

Another advantage is that if Columbia University does not have access to the full text the eLink icon provides links to a pre-populated Interlibrary Loan form and to the Report an E-Resource Problem form. 

What the eLink icon looks like



How to interpret the eLink page



There are two types of links; Get Article and Go to Journal. While Get Article is not always available you can often click on Go to Journal and manually navigate to the appropriate issue and select the article. This can method can also be useful if you would like to browse the journal.

Dates of Coverage

Sometimes Columbia University will not have access to all of the issues, with the older issues either not available electronically or not included in our subscription. The center column Dates of Coverage can confirm if the article you are looking for is available in our subscription.


This last column lists the information provider platform through a full text article can be accessed. In the example above the platform is ScienceDirect.

What to do if there are no link options


Sometimes there are no Get Article or Go to Journal  links. It may be that Columbia University does not have a subscription for that content or it may be that there is a temporary problem with the records. There are a few things that you can try to still get timely access to your article.

  1. Go back and look for a publishers icon

    Next to the eLink icon is usually another icon for an information provider (e.g. Elsevier). Sometimes due to an discrepancy in data the publishers icon will work when the eLink does not. This will only work when on campus.

  2. Search CLIO for the journal name

    If eLink could not locate the full text of your article check CLIO, the library catalog, to see if there is a listing for the journal. If there is a record try navigating to your article from the journal record link.

    If you find a record for the print journal and the location of the volume you need is in the Offsite, you can request a PDF of the article from Offsite by clicking the 'Request from Offsite' button.

  3. Request via Inter-library Loan

    If Columbia University does not have a subscription to the journal or for some other reason you are unable to access the article, submit an ILL form so that the library can request the article from another institution. The ILL link at the bottom of the eLink page will usually pre-populate the form with your requested citation. If the journal is owned by Columbia University but the volume/issue you need is unavailable, include that information in the ILL form's 'Note' field.

  4. Report an E-Resource Problem

    This form records important information such as what URL you attempted to access and your UNI so that the library's technical staff can try and resolve the problem. Alternatively you can access the form directly and manually input the various fields.

    Report an E-Resource Problem form