Textlinker Card

Example of a textlinker card


In this activity, students practice using GetIt@UTC (the UTC Library textlinker) to locate the full text of articles.

Time Required

  • This activity will take approximately 10 minutes.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to use the UTC textlinker (GetIt@UTC) to determine whether the full text of articles is available through the UTC Library.
  • Students will be able to use the UTC textlinker to access full text online where available.
  • Students will be able to recognize when they need to ask for assistance in getting the full text of articles.
  • Students will be able to identify how they would get assistance finding full text.

Materials Needed

  • Enough large (4x6) index cards of 4 different colors so that each student has one.
  • Cards are pre-printed with instructions to find and link to an article about something specific, sometimes in a specific publication.
  • Color coding for cards:
    • Green cards direct students to an article available online.
    • Yellow cards direct students to an article available online with a few more clicks.
    • [Optional] Blue cards direct students to an article available in print.
    • [Optional] Red (pink) cards direct students to interlibrary loan.

Before Using This Exercise

Students should have been introduced to library databases and have done some basic searches in a multi-subject database such as Academic OneFile or OmniFile Full Text Mega Edition. Point out the cases where the full text of an article is readily available and cases where the GetIt@UTC textlinker must be used. Practice using GetIt@UTC a couple of times to find the full text of an article. If appropriate for the class, discuss interlibrary loan – what it is, when it is used, how it works, how long it takes to get an article, how they'll be notified and how they would access the article once it is posted.


  • Give an index card to each student (or each pair of students if they are working in pairs).:
    • Each card describes and article for the students to find. Let them know that appropriate keywords for finding the article are underlined.
  • Search time to find the article:
    • Direct the class to open the appropriate multi-subject database. Tell them that they have two tasks to perform:
        • Find the article described on the card.
        • Locate the full text of that article.

      Students frequently find the article citation, think it's the entire article, and believe they are finished with the exercise. As you walk around the room, keep your eyes open for these folks and let them know they still have to try to find the whole article.

      Give students a few minutes (approximately 5) to work on these 2 tasks. Instructor should be available to help students get on the right track if they are off in the weeds or completely confused. Otherwise, allow students to experiment and figure out how the textlinker works.

      Note to instructors: When using this activity with undergraduates, especially freshmen and sophomores, we may want to use only the green and yellow cards for articles available online.

  • Discuss the various ways we find full text of articles:
    • Online with one click (green cards, green bar on the textlinker screen);
    • Online but requiring a little searching (yellow cards, yellow bar on the textlinker screen);
    • [Optional] in a printed journals (blue card, blue bar);
    • [Optional] in cases where the library does not have the article, through interlibrary loan (pink card, red bar);
    • Use some of the cards as examples. Discuss any issues they may have had when tracking down the full text.


Note: These cards were created in 2010 using Academic OneFile. They are out of date and are included here just as a template for building your own. Before using this exercise, find a series of entertaining or different articles using your chosen multi-subject database or discovery tool. Create color-coded cards for students asking them to find a specific article. Also create a "key" for the instructor.

Examples of instructor key and student cards:


Updated 2009

Creative Commons License

Teaching materials created by UTC librarians are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.