ArticlesPlus FAQ

ArticlesPlus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What is ArticlesPlus?

A. ArticlesPlus is perhaps best described as "Google for the library's online content - without the ads!" From a simple single search box, ArticlesPlus searches full-text content as well as metadata from a wide variety of sources and returns a list of relevancy-ranked results.

Q. What's included in ArticlesPlus?

A. Over 6,800 publishers are represented in ArticlesPlus, totaling over a half-billion articles from nearly 100,000 journals, newspapers and magazines. For a complete list of publishers, please see the Participating Publishers list.

Please note that ArticlesPlus does NOT include the entire set of records from Mirlyn. If you are looking for books in MLibrary, please use the Mirlyn catalog:

Q. How do I get to it?

A. To search in ArticlesPlus, simply go to, click the "ArticlesPlus" tab in the "Search" section of the header, enter your search words and click "go."

Q. When should I use ArticlesPlus?

A. ArticlesPlus is very useful for a variety of tasks that are more difficult with our other search products.

  • If you need to quickly retrieve high quality items on a particular topic (Example: "I need three good sources on <fill-in-the-blank>).
  • If you are interested in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research (Example: "I'm looking for information about how global warming is affecting the health of populations in developing countries").
  • If you know the citation of an item and just want to get that article (Example: "My professor asked me to get all the articles that are listed in this bibliography").

ArticlesPlus is one of the most inclusive University of Michigan databases describing MLibrary's contents.

Q. When shouldn't I use ArticlesPlus?

A. While ArticlesPlus can be very useful as noted above, it is less useful for other tasks.

  • If you need to perform in depth searching requiring extensive use of a database's controlled vocabulary, do not use ArticlesPlus. (Use a subject specific database such as PsycInfo or Medline to complete sophisticated search strategies.)
  • If you need to search for books in the MLibrary collection, do not use ArticlesPlus. (Use Mirlyn instead.)
  • If you find yourself consistently using the Advanced Search page in ArticlesPlus and constantly revising a search, do not use ArticlesPlus (Use one of the subject specific databases that can be found through the Browse Feature at

Q. So I don't need to search individual databases any more?

A. Although ArticlesPlus returns a wide range of results very quickly, you can be more precise in structuring your search when you search directly in individual databases; and remember, not absolutely everything is in ArticlesPlus.

Q. ArticlesPlus sounds a lot like Google Scholar. Why wouldn't I just use Google instead?

A. It's similar in simplicity of search, but ArticlesPlus offers some advantages over Google Scholar:

  • ArticlesPlus includes database records from sources like ISI Web of Science, so its coverage should be more comprehensive in some areas than Google Scholar
  • ArticlesPlus is fully integrated with the Library's holdings, so it will direct you automatically to the online version of your article, and provide easy access to Mirlyn and ILL links if there's no full-text available
  • ArticlesPlus has a variety of easy export options, including integration with RefWorks and other bibliographic management tools, to allow you to save your search results


Q. Can I do complex searching in ArticlesPlus?

A. Yes. In the simple search box, ArticlesPlus offers several search options.

  • You can use the Boolean operators OR, NOT, - (minus sign). AND is assumed if you just type in a string of words.
  • To search an exact phrase, use quotation marks. The query "teacher education" will return results with that phrase.
  • To find multiple spellings of a word, use the wildcards ? and *. The question mark (?) will match any one character. Typing "Ols?n" will search for "Olsen" or "Olson". The asterisk (*) will match zero or more characters within a word or at the end of a word.

For more information on complex searching, please see the ArticlesPlus Search Tips page.

Q. What if I want to do even more complex searching in ArticlesPlus?

A. Click on "Advanced ArticlesPlus Search" for an advanced search page. On the advanced search page you will find even more options for entering more precise searches.

For more information on complex searching, please see the ArticlesPlus Search Tips page.

Q: What do these checkbox search options mean?

A. Four standard ArticlesPlus search options appear in the ArticlesPlus Search tab, and again at the left side of the search results. They are:

Limit to articles from scholarly journals: this option narrows the results from ArticlesPlus to only articles which have been marked as originating in scholarly journals (including peer-reviewed journals). ArticlesPlus uses data from the UlrichsWeb Global Serials Directory to make this determination.

Exclude newspaper articles: ArticlesPlus contains a vast quantity of newspaper material. While this is very useful for those doing historical research, many searchers may want to use this option to quickly eliminate these newspaper article results from their search in favor of other material, such as scholarly journal or magazine articles.

Limit to articles with full text online: Most of the articles in ArticlesPlus have some electronic material available online, but not every article is available online from MLibrary in a full-text format - some articles only have descriptive information and an abstract available. This option narrows search results to only those items for which online full-text is known to be available.

Add results beyond MLibrary: The complete body of material searchable through ArticlesPlus includes articles to which MLibrary has no electronic access, either as a full-text document or as a descriptive record in a subject database. The default search in ArticlesPlus excludes this material; for more complete searches, you can use this option to add those articles to your search results. (By definition, online full-text is not available from MLibrary for these additional articles, so selecting the "Limit to articles with full text online" option excludes them from your search results even if this option is selected.)

Q. How do I share results from ArticlesPlus?

A. ArticlesPlus can export search results to RefWorks and EndNote. Also, the full record for every one of the millions of articles included in ArticlesPlus has a stable URL that can easily be bookmarked, loaded as a web link into CTools, pasted into email messages, etc.

Q. The MGetIt button in ArticlesPlus seems to be working differently. Why?

A. Nothing's broken! MLibrary is using ArticlesPlus to pilot a new version of MGetIt that links to online full-text more directly. When full-text is not available online, you can still use MGetIt to search Mirlyn for the print version or to submit a document delivery request.

Q. Where do I go for help?

A. For assistance with ArticlesPlus, please Ask a Librarian! You can email and you can find an IM service and other contact options at:

Page maintained by Albert Bertram
Last modified: 10/21/2014

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