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Alumni Services: Free (Public Use) Databases

Can I Still Use the Databases?

NOT SO GOOD NEWS   Most of the library's databases are restricted by the terms of a license specifying who is entitled to use them (and are very expensive!), which is why only BGSU students, faculty, and staff can log in and use them from off campus. Unfortunately, this means that you won't be able access them from off-campus once you've graduated.


  • Onsite In-Building Access: The first bit of good news is that you can still come to the BGSU library in person; and at our public workstations, you are welcome to access the databases you learned to use when affiliated with BGSU as a student . Just be prepared to pay for printing, to email results to yourself, or to download results to your external USB drive.
  • Remote Access for Ohio Residents: The second bit of good news is that both the state of Ohio and many large metropolitan libraries grant remote desktop access to a good selection of subscription databases that BGSU formerly provided you (or to those with similar content) . Please see the tab in this guide detailing Ohio Residents' Remote Access.
  • Free Versions of Popular Databases: In addition, there are no-cost versions of many popular databases. This list will help you determine if a database that you use frequently can be accessed for free.
  • Access the free content offered through JSTOR

Here's a selection of free databases, by subject:

Art & Art History



  • Hoovers: Company and industry information. Trial subscription available.

Criminal Justice




  • IDEAS: Internet Documents in Economics Access Service. 1920s-present.


  • ERIC: the most comprehensive database for education research. 1966-present.
  • Teacher Reference Center: professional journals for teachers. From EBSCO.

Ethnic Studies

  • HLAS: Handbook of Latin American Studies. Index to articles and books. 1990-present.


Law & Government

Library Science

  • LISTA: Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts. 1960s to present.

Medicine, Health & Nursing

  • PubMed: articles in the life sciences and biomedical journals. 1950s to present.
  • Medline Plus


  • RoJaRo: find articles about popular music. 1992-present.


  • Agricola: search books and articles owned by the National Agricultural Library.
  • DOAJ: open-access scholarly journals.
  • GreenFILE: articles about environmental issues. From EBSCO. 1913-present.
  • PubMed: articles in the life sciences and biomedical journals. 1950s to present.
  • PLoS: Public Library of Science.

Social Sciences

  • DOAJ: open-access scholarly journals.
  • ERIC: articles and research reports on education and the social sciences. 1966-present.

Downtown BG (1957)

Image from the BGSU Alumni Timeline