Answered By: Darcy Gervasio
Last Updated: Jul 26, 2022     Views: 1842

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:


Discovery search email icon highlighted, next to print, citation, and permalink buttons





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:

  • 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: Click on the "Share" icon and the email tool will be listed at the top of the drop-down menu.
  • Taylor & Francis: The "email a friend" option was eliminated in 2022. You can save the article's citation information by clicking "Download Citation" (found below the author's name) then scrolling down to "To cite this article." Copy the citation and DOI and paste it into an email to yourself (the permalink DOI URL may not work from off-campus). Alternatively, 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.