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Find Articles by Topic: Home

Find articles on your topic using MavScholar and subject-specific databases

After reviewing this information, you will be able to:

  • Find articles by topic using MavScholar
  • Find articles by topic using subject specific databases
  • Apply filters to limit to peer review and date ranges
  • Access the complete contents of an article

You have options! Click your choice below to continue...

Finding Articles by Topic Video

Directions for Finding Articles by Topic

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

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

 MavScholar Search on Library homepage

In MavScholar:

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

Use the filters on the page to limit your search, for instance to the resource type of "articles" and the option of "scholarly and peer reviewed sources". Use the pin option on items to save them for later. To save your pins long term, you will need to log in to your library account. finally, to access a source, click on available online

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.

You can access databases from the Library Services homepage Below the search box, you'll find our links to databases.  Our "Article Databases A-Z" is great if you're trying to find a specific database. Or else, check out our "Class and Subject Guides." They're divided by department and class, and through them you can usually find databases topically.

arrows pointing at the Article Databases and Class & Subject Guides buttons.

If you know the name of the database you're looking for, click Article Databases A-Z and find it easily. If you do not know which database to use, click Class & Subject Guides

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 

You can use phrases in direct quotes to find that exact phrase in that exact order. If you type in words without quotation marks, the search will look for those words in any order. You can also use boolean operators like and, or, and but to make your search more specific. Here's an example using the Academic Search Premier database:

use quotes around search phrases to keep words in order. use words without quotes to find them in any order. use boolean operators like and or or not to make the search more specific.

Getting Irrelevant Results?

If you're getting irrelevant results, you can modify your results using the sidebar. Narrow your results by date, source type, and other limitations.

Use limiting options to change what sources the database finds.  Use publication date options to limit how recent or old the sources are. Limit your search by source if you are after a specific format type.

There are a few options that will probably be more help than others. For instance, in the Academic Search Premier database, you can limit the search to "Full Text" or "Scholarly ( Peer Reviewed) Journals." Full text means that the database will only look for the articles where the database has the whole article. "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals," means that the articles found will only be from journals that are reviewed by expert scholars.

Use the full text option to limit the returned results to sources that are only directly accessible. the scholarly and peer reviewed journals option will limit results to articles that are only from journals reviewed by expert scholars

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.

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 

To access these full texts in a database, look for links or buttons that say things like "Linked Full Text," or "PDF Full Text." These links will bring you right to the entire article.

To find the full text of an article look for links that say linked full text or PDF full text

If the entry has no full text option, you may still be able to access the article. Click on the link near the citation labeled such as:

Check for Full Texta sample of check full text link -or- Go to Articlesome sources will have a go to article link option to find the full text of an article.

-or- Click Here For Other Article Options

If you can't find any of the other options for accessing the full text of a source, look for a link that says click here for other article options

After clicking the link, one of three scenarios is likely:

Scenario One: Online Access in Another Database

A purple Library Services bar will BRIEFLY appear. Our behind-the-scenes service is searching for access in another one of our databases.

a purple Library Services bar will briefly appear

A different website will have HTML or PDF access to the article.

New the new site appears, find full text links

Scenario Two: The article is in print and held at Memorial Library

Sometimes, instead of linking to another database, the page will go to MavScholar's Get It section and show the location of MSU,M Memorial Library. This means 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 MavScholar lists the location as MSU,M Memorial Library it means we have those journals physically in Memorial Library

Scenario Three: We have no immediate access, but can get the article via Interlibrary Loan

If the screen opens to MavScholar's How to get it section with only a Sign in option, Minnesota State, Mankato does not have immediate access to this publication. In this case, you can order the article from another library by clicking Sign in to submit an Interlibrary Loan Request.

Sign in to complete an Interlibrary Loan request, when no online access or location details are available

For more information about this process, check out our guide on requesting articles from other libraries. 

Get Articles from Other Libraries

If you have any trouble, please talk to a librarian.

Ask a Librarian

Find Sources Using MavScholar

Use the MavScholar search box below to find most, but not all, library items available at Minnesota State Mankato.

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