Answered By: Darcy Gervasio
Last Updated: Jul 12, 2019     Views: 789

Why You Should Use The Email Tool

When you do research, you can use the email tool in a library database to send yourself articles. Using a database's native email feature helps ensure that you...

  1. save the full text (PDF)
  2. receive a complete citation for the article 
  3. have a permalink (stable URL) that will take you back to the article record in the future

In most databases, the URL at the top of the browser is not a stable, permanent link.

This unstable URL will stop working after a few hours and will not work from off-campus.

Unstable Ebsco URL highlighted.


Using a database's email tool gives you the "good" permalink

Email tools also provide a full citation. Saving the full citation-- including the journal title, year, volume, and issue number-- helps you retrace your steps and find the article again using the Library's Citation Lookup tool.

Stable Ebsco URL highlighted

Pro Tip: If you're doing a lot of research, use a Citation Manager such as Zotero to save and organize of all your citations. Citation managers can also create bibliographies for you! See our Zotero Guide for more info.


What Email Tools Look Like


Here's what the email tool looks like in our most common database platforms. Look for envelope icons or "share" options to find the email tool. In most databases, you can enter your email address as both the sender and recipient. 

Discovery Search:






Labelled Proquest cite, print, email, and save icons. Email icon highlighted.




JSTOR email options: Download PDF, Add to Lists, Cite this Item, Journal Info, social media icons below followed by purple envelop icon for emailing




Ebsco Tools include: Google Drive, Add to Folder, Print, Email (circled), Save, Cite


What If You Can't Find The Email Tool?


Sometimes the email option is tricky to find. Here's some tips for emailing articles to yourself from "non-standard" databases:

  • Gale Databases (i.e. Opposing Viewpoints, LitFinder, InfoTrac Newsstand, Gale Virtual Reference Library, etc): The email option is a grey envelope under "Tools" in most Gale databases. Emailing the citation and full text (PDF) from this tool works just fine; however, the URL it sends you, while stable, may not work from off-campus.

  • PubMed (MEDLINE): The email tool is hidden! From the article record, click on "Send to" in the upper right. Choose the radio button next to "E-mail."  PubMed may not include the full text (PDF) with the citation information, but you can still save the permalink and click through to download and save the PDF.
  • Sage Journals: Click the "Share" icon under "Article Menu." You can list the same email under "Recipient's Address" and "Your Email."  This sends you a permanent link that is stable but may not work from off-campus. The PDF is not attached to the email from Sage; you can download the PDF and attach it to an email in Outlook or another email client. There is no permalink with the ezproxy prefix, but you can click "Article Information" under the article title and copy the DOI link.
  • ScienceDirect: There is no email tool in this database. To save an article's citation information, click "Export" at the top of the article record. Under "Export File," select "Text."  Choose either "Citation" or "Citation and Abstract." Click "Export." This generates a text file with the citation information. Using Outlook, Gmail, MacMail, or another email client, you can either a) attach the text file or b) open the text file, then copy and paste the citation information into the body of your email. You may also want to download and attach the article PDF to the same email. 
  • Taylor & Francis: The email icon-- a small blue envelope-- works just fine, but the URL it sends you may not work from off-campus. The PDF is not attached to the email; you can download the PDF and attach it to an email in Outlook or another email client. There is no permalink with the ezproxy prefix, but you can copy the DOI link below the article title and author information.