Skip to Main Content
Banner image for Mount Allison University Libraries and ArchivesBanner image link to Mount Allison UniversityMount Allison University Libraries and ArchivesImage Map
Hours | Libraries Home | Music Library | University Archives

Which Search Tool Should I Use?

The library has many different tools you can use to find the information you are looking for.

Unfortunately, there is no single search box that will connect you to everything the library has to offer, but here are some tips to help you decide where to start and to understand what each of these tools do best.


What is Novanet?

Novanet pulls together resources from multiple sources and displays them in a single list of relevance-ranked results.  Note that Novanet searches many but not all licensed databases (details below). 

Unfiltered Novanet search results may contain:

    Print books & e-books

    Journals & articles

    Conference proceedings

    Newspaper articles

    Theses & dissertations

    Government publications

    CDs & DVDs

    Music scores

Novanet also searches the collections of other Novanet libraries.  Novanet is a consortium of libraries that includes all universities in Nova Scotia and now also includes Mount Allison.  As a result, Mount Allison students, faculty and other patrons can now search and get access to books and other materials available in the Mount Allison Libraries collections and beyond, through other Novanet libraries.

Good things to know about Novanet

Sign in
Sign in to Novanet to see the full list of Novanet search results (some databases only show results when you're signed in).  It is possible to search Novanet without signing in but search results may be different.  

To log into your Novanet account, click the My Account / Renew Books link on the main page of the Library website, or go to

The best login is your 7-digit student, faculty or staff number, with the zero at the beginning. Your password is a 4-digit PIN. The new system re-set your PIN to the last four digits of your phone number. If this PIN isn't working, please contact Access Services to re-set it.

Patrons with community borrower cards will continue to use their 13-digit barcodes (beginning 1200400) to log in, plus their 4-digit PIN.

You can use these same login credentials for Relais, our interlibrary loan system, to request books from outside Novanet libraries.


Because Novanet searches multiple sources, you may see an overwhelming number of results for your initial search. Use the filters on the left side of the screen to refine your results by format, date, available online, peer-reviewed, library location and more.

Access to items at other libraries
Search results can include both items the library has and items you can request from other libraries using interlibrary loan.

Search Tips
See the Novanet Search Tips page for helpful tips that could help improve your search results. 

What’s not included in Novanet

Novanet includes many of the resources you are able to access through the library but, for reasons outside the library’s control, it does not search everything. 

Many databases listed on the A-Z Databases List are not searchable in Novanet, including the contents of EBSCO databases and LexisNexis. 

Similarly, many freely available and subject specific databases listed on the Library’s A-Z Databases List, as well as index-only databases (those without full text) are not searchable in Novanet. 

Individual articles and ebooks from these databases will not appear in Novanet results unless they are also available from other databases that are searchable in Novanet.

For help discovering which databases are commonly used in your discipline, check our subject guides for recommendations from your subject librarian, or ask a librarian

When should I use Novanet?
  • I want to search for books, A-V materials, government information and other library material available at the Mount Allison Libraries or at other Novanet libraries. 
  • I am starting my research and want to search for articles across multiple databases (keeping in mind that Novanet does not search all databases). 


Databases - A to Z List

What is the A to Z Databases List?

The A to Z List is a list of all of the databases and other electronic resources the library licenses or makes available for your use.

Novanet searches many but not all of these databases. In addition, Novanet does not search the full text of articles, and certain database search features and functionality are not available in Novanet. 

For these reasons, searching individual databases in addition or instead of Novanet may be the best option in some cases

Some disciplines have major databases that are widely used by that community (e.g. PsycINFO in Psychology). Other databases have information for many subjects and disciplines (e.g. JSTOR and Project Muse) or are focused on a specific topic (e.g. Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000).

You can use the A to Z list to search for a specific database by name or you can browse the list to discover databases recommended for your subject.  This is the first step to help you find the right database, then you can start your research by searching for your topic from that database's interface.

For more help discovering which databases are commonly used in your discipline, check our subject guides for recommendations from your subject librarian, or ask a librarian

When should I use the A to Z list?

  • I know the name of the database I am looking for.
  • I need to search databases that are not available in Novanet (e.g. EBSCO databases).
  • I am doing intensive research in a specific subject area.
  • I want to search the full text of journal articles (Novanet only allows searching on metadata).
  • I want to use the extra search features provided by individual databases.

Journal Finder

What is Journal Finder?

If you are looking for a specific journal title you can use this tool to find online-accessible journals that the library subscribes to. The library pays to license  thousands of full-text online journals that current MtA faculty, staff, and students can access. 

This tool does not search for individual articles by title or author name.

When should I use Journal Finder?

  • I know the name of the journal I am looking for.
  • I want to find journals that I have full-text online access to.
  • I have a citation for an article and I want to know if the library has online access to the journal it is published in.


JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.

Book an appointment with a librarian

Librarians are available to meet with you by phone or online.