Privileges for Accessing Electronic Resources Licensed for the University of Mississippi

Privileges for Accessing Electronic Resources Licensed for the University of Mississippi

The majority of the Library's online resources are not freely-available are governed by licenses (i.e., contractual, legal agreements). Typically, the higher education community handles such licenses based on individual campuses or users enrolled for those specific campuses.

What is a licensed resource?

A licensed resource is an electronic resource to which the University Libraries subscribe through a contractual, legal agreement. These can include primary sources like book/journal collections as well as secondary indexing or reference type materials. 

The University Libraries typically license access for employees and students at UM campuses but not for the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The UMC campus has a separate library administration and budget. Access to resources licensed by UM Libraries is extended to the Law School employees and current students even though the libraries themselves have separate administrations and budgets. The Libraries jointly license some resources when possible to reduce costs.

Who can access licenses resources?

Licenses are legally binding documents that usually require that the University Libraries limit access to current faculty, staff, and students at the University of Mississippi. This is a non-negotiable part of the contracts the Libraries are required to sign. Typically, there are no fee-for-access options for people who are not current UM studenst or employees.

The University Libraries has traditionally served as a major resource for the broader community. In order to maintain access to University Libraries resources, the Libraries ensure that all licenses allow the general public to access electronic resources from within the Libraries' facilities. The Libraries have structured their licensing agreements with database providers to make this possible.

How does the library/campus ensure only authorized users have access?

Access to library resources is governed by the library's patron database and proxy server in conjunction with the campus WebID system. The WebID system and the library's patron database get their information from the campus management system (SAP).

For this login to be successful, each user must be either:

  • A student registered for any current or upcoming class that is recorded in the student information system
  • A currently paid employee that is recorded in the University's Human Resources Management System
  • An emeritus faculty member that is recorded in the University's Human Resource Management System

These users make up the official FTE count of the UM Libraries that is typically reported to library vendors as the basis for e-resource license fees. Once properly recorded by SAP/WebID, each current employee and student should have access to library electronic resources and Interlibrary Loan services. If you feel you do meet one of these criteria but do not have access, please contact the library at askalib@olemiss.edu or call (662) 915-5855. According to Human Resources, faculty on sabbatical are still considered "active" and should receive access even while on sabbatical. Similarly, nine-month faculty who remain "active" in the HR system will continue to receive access during the summer. The only exception is if the department issues a termination of employment with HR.

For students, summer access is available when they have pre-registered for a class for the Fall. For independent study students, access is granted during the semester in which they pay tuition or receive financial aid. Also, bear in mind that sharing of one's WebID and password with anyone is forbidden by University policy and by our electronic resource contracts.

What about adjunct faculty, visiting professors not paid by the University?

Adjunct faculty who are not paid by the University are not entitled to use licensed electronic resources unless they come to the Williams or Science libraries and use these resources on the premises.

What about distance education students?

Distance does not make any difference. Students currently enrolled for any classes or upcoming classes are entitled to use electronic resources.

Are there any "special cases"?

UMC faculty and students are not eligible for electronic resource access. As noted previously, there are shared licensed resources but the access is provided through the UMC Rowland library for their users. For users who are not enrolled in a class or a paid employee, walk-in privileges are extended in both the Williams and Science libraries.

It is also worth noting that a few resources are only available within the building or require a login. These are rare exceptions and the records in the catalog reflect these cases.

I have a library borrowing card to do research. Can I also get remote access?
No. The library borrowing card is for checking out materials only. Borrowing privileges do not extend to library-licensed databases, which are governed by legally binding contracts with publishers.

Who is responsible for enabling access to licensed resources?

  • Office of Human Resources: Manages employee records
  • Office of the Registrar: Manages student enrollment records
  • Office of Information Technology: Assigns library access privileges in WebID based on data provided by HR and the student management information system
  • University Libraries: Selects information resources; manages the patron database and proxy server, creates access links that require authentication
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