University Library Graduate Student Services

[Biomedical Library Services for Nursing, Allied Health and Medical Sciences]

Graduate level research, in contrast to that of undergraduates, 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. Our Dissertation and Theses Guide will help you track down what other graduate students have done. What's below should help explain some of the services you can expect from the University Library. Remember to consult with the librarians often to insure that you are getting the most out of your time and effort.

University of South Alabama's Graduate School's Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations is online as a pdf at: This is the official style guide which you must follow when you prepare your work for presentation.

Library Homepage

The University Library homepage serves as a gateway to the Catalog, electronic indexes and e-journals, library information, remote services, as well as a portal to the Internet. Most of the Library's electronic sources can be accessed from anywhere as long as you are a currently enrolled student. Select Articles, Indexes and Databases on the library homepage to view the lists of databases subscribed to by the University Library. Select the Our Journal List link to find out whether a journal is available in print or online. For help with remote access call the Electronic Services librarian, Kathy Wheeler, at 460-7938 or 460-7025 or e-mail her at


Information on USA Libraries' books, audiovisual and journal title holdings, their formats and locations, can be found on the SOUTHcat Catalog. A guide for finding books is online, as are these video tutorials on catalog searching.

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For detailed and complex research questions, you are encouraged to come to the library and consult with the reference librarians on 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 desk, by phone at 460-7025, by e-mail (, or by Live Chat (

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Library Instruction

Graduate students are urged to become familiar with the mode of research in their discipline and the tools used to access its resources. If you are not confident using these tools, ask your professor to schedule a class session targeting these resources. The library has a classroom with computer access to the databases, the Internet and a LCD projector for real time on-line demonstrations. Make an appointment with your department's library liaison, as listed below, for individual help with any research problems you encounter.

NameDepartmentEmail Phone (Area Code 251)
Mary Engebretson Continuing Education, Reference Services 6-2825 or 460-7025
Kathy Jones Social Sciences & Communication 460-7033
Amy Prendergast Sciences & Technology 6-2827 or 460-7025
Ellen WilsonLibrary 460-6045
Kathy Wheeler Electronic Services, Math & Statistics 460-7938
Elizabeth Rugan Reference & Instruction 6-2826 or 460-7025
Jerry Wright Humanities & Education 6-5986 or 460-7025
Marty Branch Business (MCOB) 460-7998
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Interlibrary Loan

If USA does not own the material, we can obtain a book or a journal article for you from another library. Allow a minimum of 10 working days, but titles in Alabama libraries may arrive faster via FAX, UPS or the Internet. 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 homepage or directly at Be sure to register the first time you enter the ILL page.

As graduate students, you can have 20 ILLs in process at any time but are limited to 10 requests in one day. Although you are not charged for in-state borrowing, please realize that the library subsidizes the costs involved for special computer access, shipping and handling. By using WorldCat on FirstSearch under Articles, Indexes, Databases, you can determine if a book or journal is available in other area libraries. Call the ILL office at 460-7034 for more information or send an email to or come in. ILL is within the Reference offices (Room 253) on 2nd Floor North.

NOTE: The Biomedical Library handles all ILL requests for the faculty and students of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health whatever the subject matter being requested. Call 460-7043 for more information. For ILL information and forms see the ILL link on the Biomedical Library's homepage.

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Graduate students may check out up to 40 circulating items with a USA identification card. Books have a four-week checkout period and, if not overdue and no 'holds' pending, may be renewed twice in the library or online. The library reserves the right to recall books after two weeks if they are needed by another borrower. A research assistant may be given permission to check out materials for a faculty member with the faculty member's library card. Graduate students and faculty may check out bound, not current, journals for three days with no renewal.For Circulation/Reserve questions call 460-7028.

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Government Documents

USA is a 60% selective depository for U.S. government publications. Most of the documents are listed on the SOUTHcat Catalog except for some older items. Access to information about older documents is available through Marcive, an online database, available under "Articles, Indexes, Databases" on the library's homepage. The Internet is now also a rich source for government information, see the library's Government Resources: Federal and Alabama for some useful government sites. For reference questions, make contact with Paula Webb, Documents/Serials Reference Librarian, or Vicki Tate, Depository Librarian, at 460-7024 or email

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Instructional Media Center

The IMC is located on 1st Floor North. Its collection includes DVDs, audio and video tapes, music CDs--for both education and entertainment. Several rooms with equipment can be scheduled for reserve media materials and/or group viewing. Media policies can be found on this webpage or call 460-7029.

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Printing from library computers and photocopies can be made using a TRACcard for 10ยข per page. For more information see the Photocopying/Printing FAQ.

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Copy Service

For a fee, journal articles owned by the University 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 request form are available on the Library homepage at or at the Reference Desk.

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Purchase Requests

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

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