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Research Information

Locating Books

The University of Minnesota Libraries Catalog is called MNCAT. MNCAT can retrieve books, journals, newspapers, government documents, and other media, such as videos and maps. MNCAT does not include the title and/or author of any articles. Several search options including Basic and Advanced will assist you to narrow or broaden your searches.

  • Basic Search will search the entire collection of library materials held at all of the University of Minnesota Libraries. The Basic Search may be prompted to Browse Keywords or a Search for Exact Title, Author, or Subject.
  • Advanced Search will allow you to limit results by year of publication, language, material type, and location.
  • Journals Catalog narrow searches for magazine, newspaper, or journal titles only -- serials and annual publications are included, too. Searching can be keyword, title, issuing organization or subject. You can also limit your search to Internet/Electronic Resources or limit by Library Location.
  • Conference Proceedings Catalog can make searching for papers presented at conferences less challenging. Search by conference title, subject, or conference editor or author.

Other Library Catalogs

Although the library has more than 6 million books we do not own everything that has been published.  You can access other catalogs to locate items that the University of Minnesota Libraries does not own.  World Cat and RLIN are national catalogs that will search a wide variety of libraries catalogs.  The MnLINK and MnPALS will search library catalogs within the state of Minnesota.

Locating Articles

The Library has more than 300 online article indexes. Library article indexes cover valuable "deep web" content not available to free search engines like Google. An article index allows you to search the table of contents of many magazines, journals, and newspapers at once. Some article indexes cover publications on one subject; others are multidisciplinary and search by keyword, author, subject, etc. Some of the article citations will offer full-text; for those citations that are not full-text, click the Find It button. The Find It button searches other article indexes for full-text and MNCAT for a print copy of the article.

As a University of Minnesota student, you can search these article indexes from any remote location. Contractual obligations require that you verify your status. To access these indexes, you will need to provide your email address before the @umn.edu and your password.

To find articles, choose an article index either by:

For help expanding your research, the subject librarians have prepared subject specific guides to assist in selecting appropriate databases and identifying additional resources.

Multiple Article Index Searching

It is possible to search more than one article index at a time and to create your own searchable collection of favorite article indexes. This is available from the Libraries' homepage (www.lib.umn.edu) in the "Articles" tab. The trade-off is that you lose the full functionality of an individual index.

Current Awareness Indexes

Current awareness indexes enable you to discover the most up-to-date research in your field or keep your literature review current as you work on your dissertation. Using a current awareness database, you can set up a search on the topic(s) you want to watch, and that search will be run on a regular basis (which some services allow you to set; others are predetermined), with the citations sent to your email account.
Below is a brief listing of current awareness services at the Libraries. Since directions vary by service, review the Help section for each to have the latest citations in your field sent automatically to your email account.

Citation Linker

If you have a citation for an article, book or journal title, do a search in the Citation Linker to determine if the Library owns it. It is especially helpful to locate the full-text of articles.

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Using and copying copyrighted works in research involves many legal issues, and applying Internet technology in research activity creates new responsibilities as well as new opportunities within the research community. This web site provides copyright basic and includes helpful copyright tools.

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Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary loan services are offered without charge by the University Libraries to students to promote coursework and scholarly research by providing access to materials not held by the University Libraries.

Materials usually arrive in less than 10 days, but the length of time varies depending on availability, shipping and other factors. Many articles are delivered electronically. It is best to request materials well in advance of your deadline. Some items may prove difficult to obtain. We make our best effort to obtain materials you request.

You need to set up a separate ILL account. Setting up your account is free.

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The University Libraries has an extensive collection of statistics. You can find a listing of a selection of available statistics, search MNCAT (the online catalog), or check with the Government Publications Library for additional sources for statistics.

The Library also has a database called LexisNexis Statistical. You have access to most of the documents listed in this database. The Government Publications Library has the older documents in microfiche or you might find print copies by searching MNCAT. Your subject librarian can also provide you with additional sources.

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The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research is a non-profit, membership-based data archive located at the University of Michigan. The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UM-TC) membership allows students, staff, and faculty to access ICPSR data files and documentation for the purpose of academic research.

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