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Michigan State University

RCAH 380, Spring 2016, Dr Lynn Scott. Mid-20th Century African American Literature: Articles, Chapters, Books


Use SearchPlus to find articles in scholarly journals, plus many other online resources and print materials held by the library. This is where you'll go to find an article for your Scholarly Article Presentation!


SearchPlus is the library's discovery tool. It searches most of the databases we subscribe to, plus the library catalog, all at the same time. Use SearchPlus to quickly identify secondary sources: books, articles, and chapters on your topic. home page screenshot



Type keywords for your topic. Your initial results list will be huge, but you can filter the results many different ways.

For academic assignments, limiting to scholarly, peer-review publications is a common requirement. You may also want to limit by content type or publication date.

Then look for the Full Text Online link, or the call number if we have a physical copy for you to check out.

SearchPlus screen, showing filters to refine search

SearchPlus vs. the Library Catalog

What's the difference between SearchPlus and the library catalog?

The records in the library catalog are more general than SearchPlus:

  • Each book we own has a record, but not the individual book chapters.
  • Each journal we subscribe to has a record covering all the years we've received that journal, but not the thousands of individual articles within the journal.

To reach a deeper level of detail (chapters and articles instead of books and journal subscriptions), we subscribe to databases which have this data.

These databases are generally focused on a single discipline, like EconLit (economics), Music Index (music),  and Biological Abstracts (biology).

SearchPlus brings nearly all these databases together in one search, along with links to full text content.

It's a huge improvement over searching multiple databases to piece together the same results.

However, to find materials in Special Collections, it's fastest to use the library catalog and limit your search to Special Collections.

That's because Special Collections contains physical documents only, no online content.

Michigan State University