*Looking for direct links to databases? Head to the Quick Start tab.

You need to research a topic. Which resources do you have access to?

As professionals working in education, it's hard to imagine doing research without scholarly publications. Personnel located at any one of the Minnesota State colleges and universities have access to that institution's library-provided subscriptions. Due to complicated licensing and cost issues, that option is currently not available for system office personnel.

So. What can we do about that?

This guide provides information about resources that anyone who lives and/or works in the state of Minnesota can access, thanks to legislative funding and support from a combination of your local public library, MN Office of Higher Education (OHE), State Library Services in the MN Department of Education (MDE), and Minitex. Many of the resources in the databases are likely journals you are familiar with and have used in past research.

The tabs across the top of the screen are sorted into sources of information. Each tab provides information about that resource as well as instructions to access it.
  • Quick Start is for those of you who just want to get started.
  • eLibraryMN is a collection of 55 databases that contain primarily full-text electronic journal articles, newspapers, and other types of resources.
  • MNLINK is a statewide system that serves as a discovery and interlibrary loan interface for library users and information seekers. This service handles both electronic and print resources.
Google Scholar, the last tab in the list, isn't provided by legislative funding, but it's often an easier place to start when searching for journal articles.

Feedback? Have a question?

I'm happy to help you track down resources or navigate the various libraries in Minnesota. And, any feedback on the usefulness of this guide would be great as well.

Email me at

Johnna Horton is the Executive Director of PALS, a department that supports Minnesota State libraries and reports to Dr. Kim Lynch, Associate Vice Chancellor for Educational Development and Technology.

Quick Start

Quick Start Info

What if the article I find isn't full-text?

While still on the article citation screen in the ELM database, use the options on the right to email the citation to yourself and then refer to the instructions in the MNLINK tab at the top of this guide to continue your search. These are separate systems, so you'll have to recreate your search in MNLINK.

If ELM doesn't have the journal you want, remember the title (and the publisher, if possible) and refer to the instructions in the MNLINK tab at the top of this guide.

Popular databases by topic


What is eLibraryMN?

When do I use eLibraryMN?

How do I access eLibraryMN?

How do I use eLibraryMN?

Ok, I found something I want, now what?

If you refined your results to "Full Text" when you started browsing articles, you should be able to click to view the article. Below, this article has two options for viewing- HTML and PDF Full Text.

What if ELM doesn't have the article or journal I want?

While still on the article citation screen, use the options on the right to email the citation to yourself and then refer to the instructions in the MNLINK tab at the top of this guide to continue your search.

If ELM doesn't have the journal you want, remember the title (and the publisher, if possible) and refer to the instructions in the MNLINK tab at the top of this guide.


What is MNLINK?

When do I use MNLINK?

MNLINK is useful when looking for articles that aren't available through ELM and physical items including books and copies of journal articles not in electronic format.

How do I access MNLINK?

How do I use MNLINK?

If you have a specific title, type the title into the basic search bar and use the drop down to select Title, or use the Advanced Search on the right of the screen.

This record is of a book I found while searching for recent items in "student services"

If I scroll down the page, I can see that two libraries in the state own this book, and I can request it to be sent to my public library:

If I'm NOT a member of either of these libraries, I can request this by clicking on the blue Request button and finding the library system where I have a library card, and entering the Library Barcode and PIN/Password so I can pick it up from my library.

How do I request something on MNLINK?

This login page requires a library barcode and a PIN or password. If you don't have a public library card, now's a good time to get one! Each public library has information about obtaining a library card on their website.

Then, the Request form appears on the next screen and auto-populates important information (hopefully!). If there's enough info there including Author, Title, Journal, Date, Volume/Issue, and Pages, then just click the button that says Request. There is one at the top of the page and one at the bottom. Both work the same.

If you're requesting a journal article, it will more than likely be sent to your email in a few days. If you requested a physical item, you'll receive a notification from your public library (or other library you're affiliated with) when it's ready to be picked up.

More to know about MNLNK

Google Scholar

What is Google Scholar?

When do I use Google Scholar?

How do I access Google Scholar?

How do I use Google Scholar?

Google Scholar searches just like Google and connects to existing Google accounts, if you want to be able to save citations/articles or set up a profile that connects to any publications you've authored.

The advanced search (click on the menu icon marked by the number 1 in the graphic) and additional filters are limited compared to other research platforms, but it's a great place to search if you're looking for open access materials, which sometimes aren't as well indexed in subscription platforms like EBSCO and ProQuest.

If you're looking for more information and tips about Google Scholar, click on Help at the bottom right, marked by the number 2 on the graphic.

Searching Google Scholar

Some reminders about effective searching:
  1. Use keywords in combination to get narrower results. Student success higher education is more specific than student success.
  2. If you are searching for a specific phrase, put quotation marks around it to search it as a unit (e.g. "student success")
  3. Good searching can take time.
  4. Different disciplines use different terminology- make notes when you find words and phrases that seem to hit the mark.
  5. Take advantage of the filters on the left side, shown in the graphic marked with a 3.

And, if you see a result that has a link to the article, click it to access it, as shown by the number 4 on the graphic.

No link? What now?

There are quite a few articles that are indexed in Google Scholar as citations only. This means you'll have to make note of those citations, or mark the Save as shown at number 5 in the graphic, to capture the citations you want to look up in MNLINK or eLibraryMN.