Online Learning for Students: Top Five Tips for Your First Semester

A research guide to help faculty and students find, access, and navigate online materials available through the library
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Top 5 Tips for Your First Semester

This page highlights 5 tips for your first semester --- how to get help from the library, how to meet with a librarian from your subject area, where to find databases and journals from your subject areas, how to get full text access, and how to access materials when you're off-campus. Scroll for more infomration!

1.) Ask a Librarian!

If you're having an issue finding or accessing online materials or need research support - ask us! Librarians from the information desk and the digital scholarship lab can assist with on-site or remote needs. 

The "Ask a Librarian" link below directs you a page with a variety of ways to reach us or schedule a research appointment with a librarian. Research appointments are one-on-one meetings where we discuss your research questions and projects. 

2.) Become familiar with the library's website!

Our website should be your first stop when you begin your research projects. 

Check out the video below about our homepage which will connect you to the majority of our resources. 

You can contact a librarian, find books and articles, and more from our homepage. 

3.) Know the best places to search!

Initial exploratory research - looking for background information or starting a project - try MarqCat+ or a multidisciplinary databases, which cover a variety of subject areas and topics 

Advanced Search Tools - looking for that in-depth, specific research - try one of our 500(!) subject specific article, data, text, and image databases, over 34,000 journals, or MarqCat, the library catalog

4.) Get to full-text access

There are a variety of ways to get to the full text of an article or an eBook to read it online or download it to read it off-line. 

PDF, HTML, and ePUB options 

If you see one of these three icons - it indicates that you can open a full text copy of the resource and read the item online. You can download PDFs and EPUBs to read off-line.

But sometimes when you click on an eBook or article - there won't be a PDF icon or an HTML link. Don't worry - there are a few options to find the full text of what you want. 

Findit@MU button 

Click on  Findit@MU button in the article citation. Another window / tab opens with two possible options:

  • Links indicating Find it @MU may have located one or more sources for full text of the article. Click on the links and follow the trail to the article. 

  • Links to search MARQCAT by the journal title or its ISSN number. The journal may be available in print or electronically through a source not searchable by Find it @MU.

Interlibrary Loan 

If Marquette does have access to a particular item, you can request that item through interlibrary loan. This is a free service for students. See below for more information on the interlibrary loan portal, ILLIAD, where you can request items. 

Check out two videos below on Findit@MU and Interlibrary Loan for more information on how both of these services work. 

Findit@MU Overview (4:05)

Interlibrary Loan Introduction video (6:23) Captions available. 

5.) Connect to library resources remotely

To access library materials off-campus, you need to go through an "authentication process." This process lets our vendors know that you are affiliated with Marquette. See below for the two types of authentication - library login and VPN. 

Library Log-in 

To access most articles, databases, ebooks, and streaming videos, you will need to "log in" to the library to verify your identity. You can access MOST library materials using Library Login without the VPN

If you select a database from the A-Z list or click on an item from the library catalog, you will be directed to this screen. Enter your Marqnet credentials (what you use for Checkmarq). After you input your credentials, you will be directed to the resource you wanted. 

If you want to use MarqCat+, you will see a screen like this. Click on the "Hello Guest. Login for Full Access"

This will take you to the library login authentication portal. Fill in your Marquette credentials. Click Submit. It will then direct you back to your original search results page from MarqCat+. 

GlobalProtect VPN login windowVPN Access

Some library resources cannot be accessed from off-campus via the Library Login method. A VPN connection is required for these.

Follow the instructions for downloading the VPN client on your mobile device and your computer. (Both are needed.)

  1. Connect to the GlobalProtect VPN using your MARQNET Username and password
  2. Acknowledge the message received on your mobile device (iPhone, Android, tablet, etc.). Once the message is acknowledged the VPN will connect to Marquette's network.
  3. Go to the Library website and start your research

Questions? Contact ITS Help Desk: (414) 288-7799 or .