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Online Learning Resources

A guide to the Ball State University Libraries' resources and services for students and faculty participating in Online & Distance Education programs.

Start Finding Articles

As a Distance or Online student, you have the same access to article databases as do on-campus students.

  • To get started, try a library database or the OneSearch tool (more details follow on this page)
  • In rare cases where the article you want is available only in the library's print collection, you may request the article through Interlibrary Loan, and it will be scanned and shared with you on your ILLiad/Interlibrary Loan page.
  • If access to the full text of an article is not available through library databases or collections, you may request the article through Interlibrary Loan.

Find Databases

The University Libraries subscribe to databases, which include valuable research materials like academic journal articles. Some databases are specific to certain subject areas, while others include articles or other materials from many subject areas.

  • To access the databases, go to the University Libraries Homepage
  • Select Databases in the Research column
  • Take a look at databases in your field by selecting a subject area
  • Click on Databases A-Z to find a database by name

Search Tips for Databases

Different databases have different features, but here are some general search tips:

  • You may have to run several searches using different keywords before finding the results you need. This is totally normal!
  • Narrow your results - most database results page will have limiters like 'publication date' and 'item type' on the left hand side of the page
  • If your search results include subjects listed under the item title and publication information, use those subjects! Sometimes you will find a new term that you can use as a keyword in your search.


Have you seen this button?

If so, hopefully you have clicked on it! The Find It@BALL STATE button will appear when the database you are searching does not have the full text of an article, but another BSU database may hold the full text. Find It@BALL STATE searches all BSU databases for the material you need. It's always worth clicking!

Click on Find It@BALL STATE

You will be taken to the full text of the article if it is available through the BSU Libraries. Use the sidebar to see basic information about the article or to browse through other articles in the same journal.

If the full text is not available, you may request the article through Interlibrary Loan by clicking on Interlibrary Loan.

Using OneSearch

OneSearch provides a convenient way to access many different library resources at once. You will find results from several library databases, the library catalog, and open access resources online.

  • Find OneSearch on the University Libraries homepage
  • OneSearch is a great tool to use as you begin your research
  • In your research projects, you will benefit from using both OneSearch and databases specific to your field

Search tips:

  • On the results page, narrow your search using the options in the left-hand menu (including Library catalog, content type, subject terms, publication date, and more)
  • Notice the content type of any search results that interest you (for example, is the item a Book/eBook, journal article, or article in a dissertation/thesis?)