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Research at a Distance

Information and resources for USF St. Petersburg Distance Learning Students


Types of Materials Available

As a USF St. Petersburg campus student, you have access to thousands of online books, articles, dissertations, and other types of documents. You also have access to the collections of all USF libraries as well as other state colleges and universities. The Libraries provides hundreds of databases and other search tools you can use to search this content.

This guide provides basic information for accessing and searching the Library's databases. For more specific information, go to the Research Help page.


Connecting from Off-Camps

Connecting from off-campus

Since most of the research databases provided by the library are licensed only for the use of USF users, anyone trying to gain access from off-campus must identify themself as a USF student. Authentication is easy and is done through your MyUSF account.

  1. Log in to your MyUSF account.

2. Click on the 'Learning and Teaching Tools' menu item.

3. Click on 'USF St. Petersburg Libraries' in the drop-down list.

You will then go to the Library's Home Page. From there you can search the Library's Catalog or link to the database list or research guides.

Doing Research - Books

Finding books and other items in the USF Libraries

Use the USF Libraries Catalog to search for materials owned by the library including books and e-books, videos & DVDs, streaming videos, and more. The catalog includes materials form all USF libraries so if the item you need is not online or available in our library you can request it from another campus. You can also use the 'UBorrow' button to look for items at other Florida Universities.



Doing Research - Articles

Finding Articles, E-Journals & Databases

The Library provides access to hundreds of databases and other search tools to help you find articles in newspapers, magazines, and journals; data and statistics, dissertations, specialized research reports, and much more. The following tools can help you find information on your topic.


Getting Materials

Many of the materials you need will be available online. The Library provides access to thousands of online books and journal articles.

Online Books

Online books are available through the Library Catalog When you do a search look for the word E-book. You may see a URL listed, or you may see the words Click for Online Full Text. Follow the instructions to access the book.

Online Articles

To see if an article is online, look for the words Full-Text, PDF Full-Text, or HTML Full-Text. Clicking the link will open the article. You can then read, save, and email the entire article.

If you don't see full-text for an article you need, check the other online resources because it may be available somewhere else. Look for the 'Find-It' or the 'SFX' button. When you click it, you will get a list of all available databases that have the full text of this item.

Sometimes you may have all the information about an article and you want to see if it is online. Perhaps you found it in a bibliography or your instructor gave you the information and suggested you read the article. There are a couple of ways you can see if it is available

  1. Go to the Library Home Page page
  2. Click on the Ejournals by title button
  3. Type the Journal Title into the search box and click "GO"
  4. If your journal is available online you will see a list of databases that contain full text for that journal and the dates available. Choose one of the databases and do a search for the article.

If the article is available online you will see a list of databases. Click one to go straight to the article.

Materials not Online

Borrowing Agreement

USF St. Petersburg students who attend ALL of their classes online or at remote locations, and who have a valid USF ID card are able to receive books and articles via mail. This document delivery service has limitations and should be cleared through the USF St. Petersburg Interlibrary Loan Unit at 727-873-4549 before submitting. Before making a request, you will need to set up an account on the ILLiad service.

As a USF St. Petersburg student, you may use other libraries in the State University and the Community College Systems in Florida. If you live near one of these libraries you may want to see if your material is available there. You will need a USF ID card to gain access.

To make a request, log in to the library's Illiad service. Select the type of item and fill in the information. Articles may be sent via email or by regular mail. Books will be sent by regular mail. You are responsible for return postage and for returning the book on time.

Students and faculty can renew certain materials through the online renewal service. Go to the library homepage and click the Renew Materials icon. Enter your 14 digit library number and your 4 digit pin (last four digits of your social security number) and select USF as your university. You should see a list of your current materials on loan and their due dates. Follow the instructions for renewing the materials. If you experience difficulty with online renewal, please call the Poynter Library Circulation Desk at 727-873-4405 or email the Circulation Unit staff at Circulation Email . NOTE: After successfully renewing materials, remember to print the page for your records! Proof of renewal is required in the event of errors and for disputing fines/fees.



For more information about Poynter Library distance learning services please contact the following Poynter Library staff members:

Gary L. Austin
Research & Instruction Services
Phone: 727-873-4404

The Library Research and Instruction Department provides research and instructional support to USF students, staff, and faculty, and to other library users. Off-campus students can receive help via phone, email, and the Ask-A Librarian Chat service. If you are able to visit the Library you may also schedule a face-to-face research session with one of the Library's subject specialists using our Research Assistance Program (RAP).

Natalie Polson
Access Services: Circulation & Interlibrary Loan
Phone: 727-873-4549

Access Services provides access to the variety of materials and resources purchased and made available by the library. They do this for off-campus students by providing delivery services for resources that are not availabe online.

Summer Natali
Student Technology Center
Phone: 727-873-4242

The Student Technology Center provides an academic computing helpdesk, assistance and training in software such as Canvas and Student Information Systems, as well as access virtual platforms and software, a digital makerspace, training room, and the MyStudio Booth recording room.