Answered By: Research support team
Last Updated: Sep 24, 2019     Views: 262

Academic libraries are generally contractually unable to provide alumni access to the suite of library databases to which they had access as students. The publishers from whom we license our content typically prohibit the use of our databases by anyone other than current students, staff, and faculty as the best way that they can limit database use for educational rather than commercial purposes.

Once you have graduated and are using the database information in a work capacity, publishers typically charge commercial rates, and they may license the databases to businesses directly at a higher cost than the discounted educational rate. An analogy of a similar model is the educational pricing vs. ‘regular’ pricing for software which is also only available to you when you’re a university student.


There are other avenues that you can explore for accessing information resources post-graduation:

  • Most large city public libraries have a suite of online databases that you can access from home once you are set up with an account and many of these databases are the same or similar to some of the ones you have used at RRU.


  • Also, you can almost always use most university databases on a walk-in basis which can be helpful if you’re working on a special project and have a university or college near you.


  • There are also paid for research services, such as Infoaction (at VPL)  which are affordable for a small business person or contractor. That way, you can also write off the research as a business expense and have an expert researcher do the work for you.


  • For those who have graduated and are working for non-profit organizations in BC and would like access to research databases in support of those organizations, there is the Community Scholars Program . Even if this program may not be immediately accessible, if you are representing a non-profit organization, please put your organization on the waiting list so that your need is documented.


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