How to Access Library Resources After Graduation


Planning on graduating this December or maybe next spring? In this post, we tell you all you need to know about accessing library resources after you leave USD.

Databases: Off-campus access to most of our online databases containing articles and other scholarly resources is restricted to current USD students, faculty, and staff.  However, alumni retain full privileges until the semester after they graduate and through a special arrangement, the University offers alumni remote access to two of our most robust databases, JSTOR and Business Source Alumni Edition. To access JSTOR or Business Source Alumni Edition off-campus, login to your Alumni Association Account . If you do not have an Alumni Association Account you will need to create one. To access other databases we offer access to, alumni must visit us in person. For Alumni outside of San Diego, we suggest visiting other academic libraries in your area because many academic libraries have licensing agreements that allow onsite visitors to access their databases.

Books: Alumni are allowed to borrow print books from Copley and we can use your Alumni Association Membership Card to set up a library account for you; visit us in person with your membership card to get your account activated. Your library account allows you to borrow up to five print books at a time. We also suggest joining the public library in San Diego in order to take full advantage of the San Diego Circuit, which allows members of the public library to borrow books from many academic libraries in San Diego. For those leaving San Diego, joining the public library in your area is also a great way to take advantage of services they offer that you have become accustomed to as a student at USD, such as Inter Library Loan.

OER and Open Access: Another great way to get access to scholarly content after graduation is to look for content that is openly accessible to the public online. Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational resources such as textbooks, images, articles, PowerPoint presentations, or full curricula that have been released under less-restrictive licenses than traditionally published material. For more on locating and using OER, checkout our OER guide. Similarly, you may want to look for scholarly content that is openly accessible, meaning that it has been licensed for free public access online. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, SPARC, defines open access as, “…the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment”. For more on finding and using open access content, checkout our guide, Open Access: Scholarly Publishing Meets Social Justice.


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