Get Help!

How do I use databases at Notre Dame?

In a nutshell:

  • Bring a flash (USB) drive and paper to take notes with.
  • Use a "quick search" workstation in the basement.
  • Ask the Notre Dame librarians for help if you need it.

Where do I go?

Hesburgh LibraryHesburgh Library, by Flickr user patterbt To search for articles or information in databases that Notre Dame has but Saint Mary's doesn't have, you need to go to a library on the Notre Dame campus.  (Why?)  Your best option is Hesburgh Library, the main library, located just north of the football stadium. The Sweep bus stops there on its route.

Once you get inside Hesburgh Library, there are "Research Workstations" that don't require a login and don't have a time limit, that Saint Mary's students and faculty can use.  They're in three locations: two on the lower level, two in the "Fishbowl" seating area on the first floor, and one on the second floor near the M call numbers. 

To get to the two on the lower level, go down the large set of stairs just inside the library entrance.  Right inside the double glass doors, there are four stand-up workstations around a pillar.  Make sure you're using one of the computers labeled "Research Workstation."  The Research Workstations in the "Fishbowl" area are right inside the doors from the library lobby.  All of the Research Workstations are standing-up computer terminals (no chairs), so wear comfortable shoes!

How do I get to the databases?

The Research Workstations go directly to the Notre Dame library home page.  On that page, click the tab for "Databases."  If you know the name of the database you need (for example, Biological Abstracts, Web of Science, or America: History and Life, etc.) you can use the alphabetical links to find that specific database.  Otherwise, go to "Databases by Subject" and choose the subject that you're doing research for (for example, Biology, Music, History, etc.):

What can I do with my search results?

The Research Workstations are set up so that you can't print from them.  You also can't get access to your SMC email (or any other email or website), and they don't have Microsoft Word on them.  So...

  • Bring a flash (USB) drive with you to save your search results and any full text articles that you might find. 
  • Some databases will be able to send full text articles to your email address, so look for that function within the database that you are searching. 
  • If all else fails, write down the citation information for the articles you need, and the librarians at Notre Dame or here at Saint Mary's can help you get the articles. 
  • Be sure to ask the Notre Dame librarians for help if you need it! 

Why do I have to go to Notre Dame?

"Why can't I just use Notre Dame's databases from a computer here at Saint Mary's College?" 

We wish this were possible, but unfortunately, the companies that own the databases have very restrictive contracts with the libraries that license (purchase) the databases from them.  Those contracts say that authorized Notre Dame users (Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff) can use the databases from anywhere, but anyone else -- including Saint Mary's students, faculty, and staff -- has to be physically on the Notre Dame campus to use the databases. 

It works the other way around as well:  Notre Dame users can't use Saint Mary's databases unless they're here on the SMC campus.

Need Help? Ask a Librarian!