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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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

Find Articles by Topic

Find 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

Searching 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:

Use the mavscholar search box to search for your topic

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


Searching 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.

You can access databases from Memorial Library's homepage On the left-hand side, 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.

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


Searching a 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 

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 too many irrelevant sources?

If you're getting too many irrelevant results, you can narrow 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.

Finding Complete Articles

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

No Full Text Option

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

a sample of a get article link

2. Go to Article

some sources will have a go to article link option to find the full text of an article.

3. 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

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 a journal says Memorial Library's Print Holdings, that means we have those journals physically here in Memorial Library

Requesting a Full Text

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. In this case, you may order the article from another library by submitting an Interlibrary Loan Request.

To request the article from another library, login using the barcode from the back of your MavCard as your Username, and your last name as your password. 

to submit an interlibrary loan you will need to log in with the number under the barcode on the back of your mavcard

The request should auto-fill with all the information you need.

the ILL form should automatically fill in the source information. Articles are usually mailed to your mavmail. You will need to check the box agreeing to the copyright then click go to submit your request.

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

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

Ask a Librarian

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