Lately, a number of patrons have been asking about online resources that actually are not provided by the library. While we’re happy to help with any research question, it occurred to me that access is so seamless these days (ideally) that it’s hard to distinguish whether you’re accessing an article, ebook, video, etc. to which the library subscribes or content freely available to anyone. Here are a couple quick tips to determine if your access is provided by Alliant or not.
If you’re accessing something directly from the library website – whether you clicked a link on the Databases page, the List of Online Journals, or simply in the library catalog – then it’s a good bet that the content is provided by our subscriptions. Where it gets murky is if your research takes you wandering after leaving the library website. Say you click on a journal’s supplement available at a different site or, while still on a particular publisher’s site, hop over to look at another journal.
The easiest way to tell if you’ve wandered away from our resources is to look at the top of the page. In most cases, a banner will appear at the top of the page referencing Alliant. The banner might look like this:
or something more subtle like:
Unfortunately, on some sites, a banner won’t appear. In this case, the URL can provide a helpful hint. If “library.alliant.edu” appears somewhere near the beginning, then you’re accessing resources provided by our subscriptions.
One last note: If you are asked to pay for a resource after clicking a link from anywhere on the library website, please let us know! Even if it turns out we really don’t have online access to what you want, we can recommend other ways for you to obtain the resource such as ArticleReach or ILL.