Help Guide

for Electronic Resources Articles, Databases & Indexes

General Information Printing, Saving and E-mailing Results
Who has access to what?  Where can I get more help?
Library Computer Use Policy - Thomas Cooper Library

Ask a Librarian

General Information

The Electronic Resources web page allows you to locate and access databases that have been purchased by the University Libraries for research purposes. There are two ways to access a database:

  1. Choose from the Subject Areas listed and select one of the suggested databases,
  2. or

  3. Choose an index from the Alphabetical List of all the electronic databases.

Who has access to what?

Most of the online databases listed are accessible across the USC Columbia Campus. However, some may be available only in a library or at specific workstations.

USC Columbia Campus Access

Electronic resources in this category can be accessed on the Columbia Campus from any computer that has been connected to the USC backbone (libraries, computer labs, residence halls, or on campus offices).

Off Campus Access

The University Libraries proxy server enables off-campus access to many of these resources and to the Libraries electronic journals for authorized USC COLUMBIA students, faculty and staff. Instructions on how to use this service are available on the "Off Campus Access" web page.

USC System Campus Users

Some databases are available to all USC Campuses.  Please refer to the other USC Libraries web pages for more details on which electronic resources are available at your campus.

For further access information on any of the Electronic Resources, please refer to the database's "about" page, located to the right of the title.

Example:  America: History and Life   [ About ]

Printing, Saving and E-mailing Results

You can print or save your search results from databases available on the Electronic Resources web page.  Some databases offer you the option of e-mailing the records.  Instructions vary depending on which database you are using.

If you are using these databases in the Thomas Cooper Library, your records will print to any of the black and white print stations in the Thomas Cooper Library. The charge is 10 cents per page. There is one color printer in the Thomas Cooper Library. Cost of a color printout is 25 cents per page.   **Before you print, always use the Print Preview feature to see how long your printout will be.**

Emailing and saving instructions are database specific. Please follow the instructions from within the database to successfully email or save records.

Please ask at the Thomas Cooper Library Reference Desk for additional help with printing, saving or e-mailing records.

Where can I get more help?

If you have questions about using any of these databases, please come to the Thomas Cooper Library Reference Desk or use the ASK A LIBRARIAN service for assistance. Specialized help is available as follows:

  • For Business indexes, contact the Business Library, 803-777-6032
  • For Government Documents indexes, contact the Government Information Desk, 803-777-4841
  • For Music indexes, contact the Music Library, 803-777-5139/li>
  • For all other indexes and databases, contact the Reference Desk at 803-777-4866

Library Computer Use Policy - Thomas Cooper Library

See also the University's Student Guidelines for Responsible Computing.

  1. Library computers serve as access points for databases which assist USC faculty and students in their library research and class assignments. Librarians also use these computers to teach electronic resources to groups and individual patrons. These uses have priority over any other use by patrons.
  2. Librarians reserve the right to limit an individual's use of library computers if others are waiting to access library resources. Patrons are limited to the use of one computer at a time.
  3. The use of e-mail at library computers should be related to library research and class assignments. Additional computers are available in the Cooper Technology Lounge on Level 5 for USC students for word processing, e-mail and other and other Internet applications.
  4. Library computers may not be used for unlawful communications including threats of violence, obscenity, child pornography and harassing communications as defined by U.S. and S.C. laws.
  5. Users may not display on library computers web sites that are in violation of Article 3 of Chapter 15 of Title 16 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, i.e. obscene or child pornography web sites. Should you need to access materials in this category for legitimate research, you may contact the Library administration for an appropriate arrangement.
  6. Downloading software from the Internet onto library computers, altering settings or files, and tampering with computer security in any way is strictly prohibited and may result in disciplinary or legal proceedings.
  7. Conducting for-profit business at library computers is not allowed, nor may library computers be used for commercial transactions.
  8. All beverages must be in spill-proof containers or cups with lids. Water bottles with caps are acceptable.
  9. All regulations stated in the Student Guidelines for Responsible Computing ( are applicable to the use of library computers.


USC Libraries Reproduction Policies

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Sec. 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair Use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or
is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

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