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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

An Introduction to Library Research

Basic information to search for and find library materials.

Why Use Articles?

Why Use Articles?

Articles are short pieces of writing on just about any topic. They can appear in anything from magazines and newspapers, to online. Articles offer a lot of great benefits as a source.

Benefits of Articles:

  • Articles provide current, up-to-date information
  • Scholarly Articles provide good evidence for arguments and claims
  • Newspapers & Magazines  provide testimonials and general information. 


Articles area valuable asset for any project. Check the information below for how to find them through Memorial Library!

Finding Articles in a Nutshell

How do I find articles?

The majority of current articles are available online through our library. You can find these through the Library's database, or one of the many databases we subscribe to. Remember: no single database contains all articles

Here are the basic steps to find an article:

  1.  Do you have a  specific journal, magazine or newspaper in mind?
  2. Do you have an article by topic, with no specific title in mind?
    • Search MavScholar (see below) or click here for information to help you search subject-specific databases.
  3. Search the database and locate the "full text" or the complete contents of the article.
  4. If no full text is available, click links like "Get Article" to find the content from another source.

See more detailed directions and information below.

Search MavScholar

Library Logo


Using MavScholar

Search Mavscholar:

If you have a topic, but no specific journal title in mind, begin your search in the MavScholar. MavScholar has a quick search box above or on the Library Services website. It's the default search when you search something from the Library Services page. It looks like this:


Type desired information in search field.











In MavScholar:

After you have performed your initial search, view only Journal Articles by using the left-hand sidebar to filter results. Check the image below for more details and directions




How to Find a Database

Use the tabs above to search for databases by your subject matter.

Finding a Database

Sometimes it is best to search a more specific journal database than MavScholar. When you search a database, you'll get information from lots of journals at once, saving you time and energy. Most databases are subject-specific, so you know you'll get relevant information. To browse databases by topic, use the tabs above.

You can also access databases from Memorial Library's homepageUse the following menu options to find subject-specific databases. On the left-hand side, you'll find our links to databases. 

Image of left search bar, with arrows pointing at the Article Databases and Class & Subject Guides options.


If you're looking for information on Arts & Humanities, try the databases below.

If you're looking for information on Business, try the databases below.

If you're looking for information on Education, try the databases below.

If you're looking for information on Health Sciences, try the databases below.

If you're looking for information on Sciences, try the databases below.

If you're looking for information on Social Sciences, try the databases below.

If you're looking for information on Visuals, Data &Stats, try the databases below.

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Searching a Database

How do you search in a subject-specific Database?

Databases all look a little different, but they work in similar ways. Check out the visuals and directions below to get an idea for how they work.

Search tips:

  • Start with words that relate broadly to your topic
  • Add words that are unique or specific to your topic
  • Avoid full sentences 

Here's an example using the Academic Search Premier database:









Getting too many irrelevant sources?

If you're getting too many irrelevant results, you can narrow your results using the sidebar. Here's how: 








Sometimes, however, NOT limiting to Full Text can turn up better search results. By including non-full text results, your search will include articles from other databases available at the Library (and at other libraries from which the University can borrow).

Keep Searching!

As you continue with your research, you may want to change your keywords by using different words and phrases you find. Be on alert for synonyms and abbreviations for the keywords you choose.

Finding Results in a Database

Finding Sources in a Database

All databases look a little different, but they all work in pretty much the same way. You'll see:

  • a list of results
  • a number telling you how many results you have
  • sidebar that allows you to further limit your results 

Below are some tips for how to narrow some of your results


Locating the Actual Article

How do you find the actual  article?

A full text article is usually available in one of two formats: 

PDF:  a scanned document retaining the original layout of a print article
HTML: a single web page containing the document 

Check the pictures below for some examples of where to find the full article in the database.

Database Doesn't Have Full Text

What if the full article isn't offered on the database?

If the journal record has no full text option, you may still be able to access the article. Click on the link near the citation labeled Get Article, Go to Article, or Click Here for Other Article Options.

1. Get Article

2. Go to Article

3. Click Here For Other Article Options

Journal Availability Window

A new screen will open with the article’s citation, and links to find the journal article online or in paper. It will look like this:

Click "Full-text" for a link to the article in another database. If content is not available in another database, click "Interlibrary Loan and/or Request" to request the article through Interlibrary Loan.

Sometimes, instead of linking to another database, the page will link back to the library catalog. "Memorial Library's Print Holdings" means that the library subscribes to a paper copy of the journal. Journals are located in the Periodicals section of the library on the first floor.


If Minnesota State University, Mankato Does Not Own an Article

If the journal availability window says “Sorry, no holdings were found for this journal,” Minnesota State, Mankato does not have immediate access to this publication. You may order the article from another library by submitting an Interlibrary Loan Request.

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