Skip to main content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

What is MavScholar?: FAQs

Search for articles and books at the same time, across all subjects

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MavScholar?
MavScholar is a simple, fast way to search across the library catalog and journal databases including JSTOR, Academic Search Premier, ScienceDirect, and many more.

Do we have full-text access to everything in MavScholar?
Not necessarily. You can easily find out by clicking the Full Text Online or Available Online links.

Can I access MavScholar from off-campus?
Yes! You can search and browse results without logging in. When you get to the point of accessing an online document or resource that is only available at MSU, you'll be prompted to log in with your MavMail username and password.

What is it searching?
MavScholar is searching the MSU library catalog, as well as many (not quite all) of the library's databases and journals. Presently, MavScholar has nearly 1 billion records. Right now, MavScholar includes items from our library's holdings plus nearly 7000 publishers and 100,000 journals and periodicals. For a detailed list of database and journal content, follow this link.

What is in MavScholar and what's not?
Everything in the library catalog and many of the library databases and journals. Some databases still are not indexed by MavScholar.  As of this year, all but 14 of our hundred most-used journal titles are indexed in MavScholar; of these, MavScholar provides the full text of 75%.

When I click on "Full Text Online," I still can't get the full text. Why not and how do I get the full text?
Sometimes you will see an intermediary window when you click Full Text Online or Available Online.  On the intermediary screen, click on the Article link.

Clicking Article link on intermediary window to access article

If it is an article, search our Journals list to see if we have the journal and issue you need.

If it's a book chapter, search for the book's title (usually italicized in a citation).  Last, if you are pretty sure we don't have the article or book, request it via interlibrary loan. You can always ask a reference librarian to help you find the full text, too.

How is MavScholar different from Google Scholar?
Both Google Scholar and MavScholar are enormous indexes of scholarly publications. There will be some unique information in each of them. The main differences are:

  • MavScholar is primarily searching books and articles in the library's collection, so you are more likely to be able to get the full text.
  • MavScholar lets you find print materials we have in the library.
  • MavScholar provides lots of ways for you to refine your search.
  • Google Scholar provides you with citation counts for each item.
  • Google Scholar includes Google Books content.

Why should I use MavScholar?
MavScholar is great for getting started with your searching, because you get a broad capture of what has been published on your topic. It's also good for searching across multiple subjects at once. It's a good alternative to Google because you are searching a huge amount of information, but MavScholar is designed for college-level research. It's also helpful to use MavScholar when you are trying to see if the library has something.

When should I NOT use MavScholar?
When you are completing a more advanced research project and know which specialized database to use. Furthermore use a specialized database iwhen you want to formulate a very precise search (i.e., authors, specific years published, a specific journal title, subject terms from the discipline). 

How do I get to just the MSU Library Catalog or a specific database?
To search the MSU Library Catalog only, use the BOOKS tab centrally located on the Library Services web site.
To search a specific database like JSTOR or ScienceDirect, start with our Article Database A-Z guide.

I sometimes see Recommendations at the top of my search results. What do they mean?
Based on keywords you have entered in the search box, MavScholar may recommend specialized databases or web sites to help you find information.  Use these resources by clicking on the database name or web site title.

What browsers and mobile devices work with MavScholar?
MavScholar works with the following mobile devices and browsers:


  • iPhone 2.0+
  • iPad
  • BlackBerry 8500+
  • Android 1.0+


  • Internet Explorer 6.0+
  • Firefox 3.0+
  • Safari 4.0+
  • Chrome

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.