Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


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Library databases are collections of materials allowing you to search for information in an organized collection. This organization leads to more relevant results. Content in databases has usually undergone some sort of review process, so the material is more reliable than information found on the internet.

Search engines, like Google, use bots to search the Internet and find results that match the words you entered. Search engines are great for finding background information as well as information on groups and organizations but it is difficult to narrow your search and you'll often get thousands of results. In addition anyone can post anything on the web.

Use your IU/CAS login or set up a VPN so you don’t have to use the IU/CAS credentials each time.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to temporarily create or join a private network across an existing public network. A dial-up or PPP (point-to-point protocol) is a technology for connecting to networks over standard telephone lines. Indiana University provides the software online for you to download, free of charge, to establish a VPN or dial-up connection to campus and bypass potential problems of remote access to the Library's resources when using an Internet Service Provider. For information on connecting see The basics of VPN at IU in the Knowledge Base

Please use IU Fax Service to send faxes. 

Note that the IU Fax Service migrated to a new platform March 31, 2019 - for information about the new service, see IU Fax Public Documentation.

Check out our Policies page and please contact Access Services Team at if you have further questions.

When you search a library database, the URL in the browser window is usually NOT a persistent or stable URL (also known as PURLs (persistent universal resources locators)). That means, if you try to use the URL again at a later date to access the article, it won’t work. You need to make sure you use the persistent URL when linking to articles in library databases.

To find persistent URLs in library databases, click on the title of the article in which you are interested. The persistent URL will appear in different locations depending on the database. For example, in an EBSCO database, once you click on the title, in the right-hand column list of options, you’ll see “Permalink.” Click it for the persistent URL. In a ProQuest database, after clicking the title, click the “Abstract/Details” tab and scroll towards the bottom of the page. There you’ll find the “Document URL.”

Contact a subject librarian for tips on citation management strategies and tools. You can also check out our EndNote, Zotero, and How-to-Guides.

Log into your account in IUCAT and click “Renew” or “Renew All Items” on the My Account/Checkouts screen.

University Library has over 30 individual and group study rooms. Reserve a room online by logging in with your CAS/IU login to Study Room Reservation System. Graduate students may apply to use a study carrel at the start of the fall semester on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact John Cooper for more information at (317) 274-0471 or go to the 2nd floor Service & Information Desk and ask for an application.

Yes, residents of the state of Indiana, visiting scholars, and others can find information about using University Library on our page Information for Guest Users.

For phone numbers and other ways to contact the library, check out our Ask Us page. Also, check out our Subject, Course, Reference, or How-to-Guides.

You may have found a database link from a search engine such as Google. You can access content licensed by library subscriptions automatically when you are on campus, connected to IU Secure, or using a VPN. However, when you are not connected to the campus proxy in one of those ways, it will probably not work for you.

By using the remote access bookmarklet you can identify yourself to the database provider as a valid IUPUI user and gain access to subscription content.

How to install the IUPUI Bookmarklet

How to use the Bookmarklet
If you have a database URL in your browser that doesn’t contain, you can identify yourself as a valid IUPUI user by clicking on the remote access bookmarklet in your list of bookmarks.  This will redirect you CAS Authentication login, which will allow you to gain access to subscription content.

Common Bookmarklet Errors
The bookmarklet will attempt to proxy any website, whether we license that content or not.  If you receive a “Remote Access Error” when you use the bookmarklet on a URL, the most common reasons are:

  1. The content is freely available and hence not proxied for off-campus use.  Don’t use the bookmarklet for this content.  If you are unsure, check the library website Database List and E-Journals list. Or complete the University Library Help Request Form noting the title of the resource you need, and a staff member will let you know if IUPUI has access to the content.
  2. The content is not directly provided by IUPUI Libraries. It could be that we have the journal in question, but from a different vendor. For example, IUPUI Libraries do not license anything at the site However, all of our American Psychological Association content is provided through the PsycINFO (EBSCO) database.
  3. (Least common) The content is licensed to IUPUI Libraries, but URL has recently changed or otherwise is not proxied correctly.  Report this using the University Library Help Request Form noting what resource you are trying to access.

Google Scholar is a search engine that specifically searches scholarly literature and academic resources. Unlike library databases (which contain resources chosen by people), Google Scholar results come an automated search of the internet that is then limited to scholarly material. Because it is automated, results should be reviewed carefully as some aren't scholarly (for example, a high school term paper). Google Scholar is a great option if you aren't finding information about your topic in library databases.

The library has many style manuals available to use or borrow at the Service & Information Desk and we also maintain a citation guide with links to online resources. If you need a specific style guide, contact a subject librarian for a recommendation. Also, check out the EndNote, Mendeley, and Zotero guides for citation management software. The University Writing Center also has a location on level 2 in University Library.

Ask for your book by title or course number and instructor name at the Service & Information Desk (level 2). Books on Course Reserve are loaned out for a temporary period of time (usually 2 to 4 hours) for use within the library. Don’t forget your Crimson Card!

When you find a book in IUCAT, it will have a “Call Number,” which is like a book’s address (for example: F526.5 .I53, Stacks). The library’s collection is divided into 21 categories indicated by single letters of the Roman alphabet, with major subdivisions indicated by a second letter, and narrower subdivisions by decimal numbers, and further alphabetic notation. Floor maps are located throughout the library, at the Service & Information desk and show where the major categories are located in the “stacks,” or shelving.

You will need to search in article databases. Go to Databases. If you’re not sure what database you want, start in an interdisciplinary (database like Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) or ProQuest Central. Or start with the Subject Guides instead and locate a research guide related to your topic. Then, click on tabs like "find materials",  "articles" or "databases" to find out which databases the subject librarian recommends that you use.