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ED 500-Level Research Resources: Graduate Student Services

Marx Library Graduate Student Services

Graduate level research is extensive and often uses information from a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary sources. You may be expected to do a comprehensive literature review. Remember to consult with librarians often to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and effort spent on research.

Library Homepage

The Marx Library homepage serves as the gateway to the library catalog, electronic indexes and journals, library information, and remote services. Most of the Library's electronic sources can be accessed from anywhere as long as you are a currently enrolled student. Select the Articles, Indexes, and Databases link on the homepage to view the list of databases to which the Marx Library subscribes. Select the Our Journal List link to find out whether the library holds a particular journal in print or electronic format.

Library Catalog

Information on the University of South Alabama Libraries' book, government document, media, and journal holdings can be found in SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog.


For detailed and complex research questions, you are encouraged to come to the library and consult with the reference libraians on the 2nd floor north. Reference librarians are always willing to confer about possible research tools and newly available resources for your research needs, though you may need to make an appointment so the librarian can allow adequate time to assist you. Brief factual information is available at the reference desk, by phone at 460-7028, by email (, or by live chat through the Ask a Librarian page.

Interlibrary Loan

If USA does not own a book or journal article you need, we can likely obtain it for you from another library. Allow a minimum of 10 working days, but titles held by libraries in Alabama may arrive faster. No charge is passed on to you for these in-state items. Charges made by out-of-state libraries will be billed to your account. The ILL request forms are available from a link on the library homepage. The first time you use ILL you will need to register.

As graduate students, you can have 20 ILL requests in process at any time, but are limited to 10 requests in one day. Call the ILL office at 460-7034 or email for more information.

ILL is within the reference offices (room 253) on the 2nd floor north.

Copy Service

For a fee, journal articles owned by the Marx Library can be copied and delivered to researchers. Article requests are limited to three per day (at a minimum charge of $3.00 per article) and are usually filled within 24 hours, except weekends and holidays. The fee schedule and the link to the ILLiad request form are available via the library home page or via the link below.


Your JagCard is your library card. Graduate students may check out up to 40 circulating. Books have a four-week checkout period, and may be renewed twice as long as they do not have holds pending and are not overdue. The library reserves the right to recall books after two weeks if they are needed by another borrower. Graduate students and faculty may check out bound (not current) journals for three days with no renewals. A research assistant may be given permission to check out materials for a faculty member with the faculty member's library card. For questions about Circulation & Reserve, call 460-7028.

Government Documents

The USA Libraries are a 60% selective depository for US government publications. Most of the documents are listed in SOUTHcat: USA Libraries' Catalog, except for some older items. Information about these older items is available through Marcive, an online database linked from the Articles, Indexes, and Databases page. For more information, contact the Government Documents department at 460-7024 or

Photocopying & Printing

TRACcards are used for library printers and photocopiers at a cost of 10¢ per page. The TRACcard costs 50¢ and is reloadable. Purchase TRACcards and add value at the circulation desk.

Fee-Based Databases

Specialized databases to which the library does not subscribe may be available through commercial vendors like Dialog and STN. They may be searched by a librarian for the direct cost of the search. Make an appointment for these librarian-assisted searches with Amy Predergast at 460-7028.

Purchase Requests

Requests for books or media to be purchased by the library can be submitted through the form linked below. Since most purchases are made by university departments, you may wish to discuss your research needs with your department's library representative, linked below.