University Library at St. Cloud State University

FAQS: LibSearch

1. What is LibSearch?

LibSearch provides a single search box that allows users to search for books, audio-visual materials, journal articles, and other resources contained in many of the Library's databases. Results are returned in a single, relevancy ranked list of resources that can be refined. See section below titled  “Using LibSearch”  for more information on conducting a successful search.

LibSearch is St. Cloud State University's implementation of the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS).

2. Can I still find and search a specific database or find a specific journal?

Individual databases continue to be accessible using the Library's Databases A-Z list or by using the Library's Research Guides. Links to electronic journals and print journal holding information can be found using the Journal Titles.

3. Does LibSearch replace Academic Search Premier or any other existing library database?

LibSearch is considered an enhancement, not a replacement, for the Library’s previous search options. It searches many databases simultaneously through a single search and returns results in a single results list. However, it does not search all databases available from the Library. It is a great place to start a research project, but other library databases and resources are still available and important to properly conduct research, particular for upper division courses.

4. How do I access LibSearch?

LibSearch can be accessed directly from the search box on the Library homepage. You can also link to LibSearch from the Library’s Databases A-Z list or from many of the Library's Research Guides

Use of LibSearch is open to everyone. Results will have full lists of results, however only students, faculty, and staff of St. Cloud State University may access full-text content provided within LibSearch or linked to through FindIt!

When students, faculty, and staff of St. Cloud State University are using LibSearch from off-campus, they will be prompted to login using their StarID to view full text of articles and eBooks.

5. How do I use LibSearch?

There are three key steps in conducting a successful search:

1. Enter your search terms (this is also known as a "search query")
  • From the Library’s homepage, enter appropriate keyword search terms or phrases in the LibSearch box and press Enter.
  • If you link to LibSearch from the Library’s Database A-Z list or from a research guide, you will start from the Advanced Search. Enter appropriate search terms or phrases.  You may also select a search field to search to increase precision (reduces number of results); then, press Enter.
  • Tip: If you want to search for a phrase, enclose your words in "quotation marks" – for example, “online privacy”.
  • Tip: If you link to the Advanced Search, you may select a search field from the drop down options to increase precision.  This is especially useful when searching for a known author or keywords in a title.
2.  Limit your results
  • When you run a search, the search engine is returning results from many different databases, including the Library’s MnPALS catalog. Like Google, search results lists can be very large and overwhelming. Use any of the options on the left side of the results screen to refine the results. Common limits include:
  • Limit to Peer-Reviewed Journals -- This limits results to peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals.  Many articles are directly available in HTML or PDF, or can be linked to clicking the FindIt! icon. Sometimes, the FindIt! link is unable to locate a fulltext source online for the article; in this instance you will be directed to interlibrary loan.
  • Limit to Full Text Online – This limits results to any online fulltext , including books, popular articles, scholarly articles, and reviews. No interlibrary loan.
  • Limit to Library Catalog – This limits to physical and online items (books, videos, etc.) avaiable the Library in the Miller Center.  Item availability displays for physical items and links for online items.
  • By publication date – LibSearch uses a slider.  Move either end of the slider to limit either the start or end date of publication OR highlight the start or end date and type a new start or end year.
  • Further limits by resource type, subject, language, and by location database can be used.
  • Any limits you apply will appear in the "bread bin" (often referred to as “bread crumbs”) at the top of the left column. An "x" is next to each limiter; click the “x” to remove a limit. 
  • Tip: Especially large search results can be refined by using multiple limits or adding search terms. More than one limit can be used.
  • Tip: Note that the resource types limit includes the number of results for each resource type.
3. View full records and full text documents
  • Brief records are initially displayed on the first results page. These records will often provide you with enough information to assess whether you want to see more results or if you should refine or change your search. 
  • If an item is available in full text you will see an HTML or PDF full text icon. Some full text results will have tools that enable you to listen to the text (automated speech-to-text) or to translate it (machine translation). 
  • Tip: The Library may have full text access to articles not available within the search engine. To access articles that may be available in full text outside of this search service, use the FindIt! link. This link can either be found on the main results screen on an item's brief record or on item’s detailed record.

6. What search features are available with LibSearch?

  • Basic single search box searches nearly 80 Library databases simultaneously
  • Basic and Advanced Search options
  • Multiple options are available to Refine Results
    • Limit to Peer-Reviewed Journal articles, to Full Text Online, to Library Catalog, to range of years.
    • Limit by Resource Types—academic journals, magazines, news, books, ebooks, reviews, videos, audio, and more
    • Other limits by Subject, Language, Geography, or by Database
    • Check boxes allow users to refine results by multiple source types, clusters, and content providers or databases
  • To the right of the Result List, you can search additional databases not included in LibSearch
  • Availability of book titles in SCSU collection is displayed in the search results
  • Persistent “Permalinks” to search results, abstracts, or fulltext
  • Persistent link posting to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other social media tools
  • Links to full text outside of LibSeach are available through the FindIt! button
  • Citations are formatted for you (including APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.)
  • Citations can be exported to Mendeley, Zotero, and other bibliographic management tools
  • Save search terms and receive search alert updates
  • Works well with most mobile devices

7. When should I go directly to a subject-specific database instead of using LibSearch?

If you are doing upper-level, advanced research and/or looking for information that is subject- or discipline-specific, the Library recommends that you use a database that specializes in that subject or discipline area. To select a subject-specific database, use the Databases A-Z list or consult the Library's Research Guide that covers your discipline (i.e. Business, Psychology, Biology, Communication Studies).

If you are only looking for books or media items, it is recommended you use solely the MnPALS catalog.

8. Which databases are included in LibSearch?

Over half of the Library's databases are included in LibSearch. However, there are a number of databases that are not included. These databases require you to search them individually. For a complete list of available databases, see the Library’s Databases A-Z list.

Included databases:
  • SCSU MnPALS Catalog
  • The Repository at St. Cloud State University (OA)
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Access Science
  • AgeLine
  • Alt HealthWatch
  • America: History and Life with Full Text
  • Aphasiology Archive (OA)
  • Archive of European Integration (OA)
  • ArchiveGrid (OA)
  • Art Full Text
  • arXiv (OA)
  • BioOne Online Journals (OA)
  • British Library EThOS (OA/ETD)
  • Business Source Complete
  • CINAHL with Full Text
  • CogPrints (OA)
  • Communication & Mass Media Complete
  • Consumer Health Complete
  • Credo Reference Collection
  • Criminal Justice Abstracts
  • Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (OA)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (OA)
  • Energy Citations Database (OA)
  • ERIC (OA)
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Government Printing Office Catalog (OA)
  • GreenFILE
  • Grove (Oxford) Art Online
  • Grove (Oxford) Music Online
  • Health Source – Consumer Edition
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
  • Historical Abstracts
  • Industry Studies Working Papers (OA)
  • Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts
  • LUNA Commons (OA)
  • Manuscriptorium Digital Library (OA)
  • MAS Ultra
  • MasterFILE Premier
  • Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print
  • Middle Search Plus
  • Minority Health Archive (OA)
  • MLA International Bibliography
  • Naxos Music Library
  • OAIster (OA)
  • OAPEN Library (OA)
  • Oxford Scholarship Online
  • PhilSci Archive (OA)
  • Points of View Reference Center
  • Primary Search
  • Professional Development Collection
  • PsycBOOKS
  • R2 Digital Library (OA)
  • Regional Business News
  • Science Reference Center
  • ScienceDirect
  • SPORTDiscus with Full Text
  • SSOAR – Social Science Open Access Repository (OA)
  • EBSCO Supplemental Index
  • Teacher Reference Center
  • University Press Scholarship Online
NOT included databases:
  • Archon (University Archives)
  • ACM Digital Library
  • ACS Chemistry Journal
  • AnthroSource
  • AP Images
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies
  • Books in Print
  • Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities
  • Cambridge University Press Journals
  • CIOS Journal System Index
  • ComAbstracts
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
  • Dissertations and Theses
  • EconLit
  • Emerald Full Text
  • Ethnic NewsWatch
  • Gartner Technology Research
  • GenderWatch
  • General Science Index
  • Google Scholar
  • IEEEXplore
  • JAMA
  • LitFinder
  • MathSciNet
  • Meteorological and Geoastrophysical Abstracts
  • Music Literature (RILM)
  • Nature
  • NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor’s)
  • Nineteenth Century US Newspapers
  • PapersFirst
  • Project MUSE
  • ProQuest U.S. Newsstream
  • PsycINFO
  • SAGE Journals Online
  • SAGE Reference Online
  • SciFinder Scholar (Chemical Abstracts)
  • Social Services Abstracts
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • Something About the Author Online
  • SRDS Media Solutions Advertising Sources
  • Times (London) Digital Archive
  • Vanderbilt Television News Archive
  • Women Writers Project
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
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