Getting Started with Academic Research: Accessing Library Resources From Off Campus

Welcome to the University Libraries at Virginia Tech! The libraries are a hub of research and learning for Virginia Tech, and we are here to help you! Explore the pages of this guide for guidance on beginning your academic research.

Research and Assignment Assistance

Simple questions

Go to Ask a librarian chat and email service.

Subject specific questions

Contact your college librarian. A librarian is formally assigned to assist the faculty, staff, and students of every academic department.

AREC and Extension offices should contact the Agriculture Librarian (Inga Haugen).

Accessing Library Materials Online

​Databases, ebooks, and ejournals

In order to access the library's full-text resources from off campus, you will be automatically prompted to sign in and authenticate yourself as affiliated with Virginia Tech via 2-factor authentication, as long as you start your search on the library's website, or configure Google Scholar to show Get VText links. There is no need to do anything in advance to ensure access.

Everyone who is a current employee of the university or currently enrolled student should have access. You can check your current affiliation through OneCampus.

get v textGet VText

When you search in a library database like Discovery Search, a ProQuest database, or Google Scholar and find citations that are not available as full text inside that database, you should see a Get VText button or link. The Get VText system will show what kind of access we have to the item in question: full-text, online access; print access to material in one of our libraries; or links to request a copy through interlibrary loan. It also automatically authenticates users who are off campus. Extended campus users can have print materials mailed directly to them or have portions scanned via Interlibrary Loan.

Other Virginia universities

Some of the links on the University Libraries databases page are accessible from any of the participating VIVA institutions. Most of these institutions allow walk-in business. Many offer the Eduroam wireless network that you will be able to connect to.

Configure Google Scholar

Connecting your Google Scholar account to VT Libraries can ensure that you have easier access to the full text of sources owned by VT Libraries. To do so, follow the steps below: 

1. Start at and click on Settings. 

2. Click on "Library Links" from the selections on the left. 

3. Search for Virginia Tech and then select "Virginia Tech - Get Vtext" (the one with the lowercase 't' in Vtext). Then Save.

Your search results will now display Get VText links that make use of the library's subscriptions and will authenticate off campus users automatically. You can also view the video below for directions. 

LibKey Nomad Browser PlugIn

LibKey Nomad is a browser extension that assists with access to library resources. It's our replacement for LibX.

Off-campus access during COVID-19

If you have any questions about accessing resources from off-campus during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out our FAQs. Learn more about special expanded access to selected electronic resources.

Shipping to Extended Campus Users

Beginning Monday, August 3, 2020, Interlibrary Loan will resume shipping VT-owned materials to Extended Campus Users and branch libraries (National Capital Region in Falls Church; Washington-Alexandria Architecture Center in Alexandria; Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington).

Please be sure that your current address is listed on your ILLiad account, as this is what we will use to ship materials (if applicable).

If you have questions, please contact Interlibrary Loan at

Obtaining Materials: Extended Campus Users

Extended campus users (faculty, staff, or students living outside the New River Valley counties of Montgomery, Giles, and Pulaski) may request delivery of materials through ILLiad, Virginia Tech's interlibrary loan service. The first time you Login to ILLiad, you'll be prompted to create a profile in the system. There is no charge for the account or for items you request

Returnables (books and other materials that are loaned to you - i.e., not photocopies/scans) are sent with prepaid USPS return mailing labels included in the packaging. You are responsible for returning materials on time.

Faculty holding an OCLC reciprocal borrower's card can check out library materials from participating institutions. Northern Virginia libraries include: American, George Mason, Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, and the University of Maryland. Tidewater libraries include Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth.

Checking your library account

Checking your ILL activity

The Review Requests section of your ILLiad account will allow you to see 'Active Requests,' 'Checked Out Items,' and 'Request History.'

Choose 'Request History' to see a log of all previous requests. Choose 'Active' Requests' to view and edit your outstanding requests, including detailed request information and statuses. Choose 'Checked Out Items' to view or renew items that you have checked out that have been borrowed from another library.

Extended Campus Users

If you have requested books that are owned by the Virginia Tech Libraries, once the books are mailed to you, the status on ILLiad changes from 'Request in Processing' to 'Request Finished' and the ILLiad tracking is done. Thereafter, to see which Virginia Tech books are still currently checked out, login to My Library Account. Note that books borrowed from other libraries will not appear on your account in My Library Account, only books that belong to Virginia Tech.

Books borrowed from other libraries have a different identification label affixed to the front than books borrowed from the Virginia Tech Libraries. Books from other libraries are indicated as Virginia Tech Interlibrary Loan while books from Virginia Tech are indicated as ILL from Virginia Tech Collection (Extended Campus). Books borrowed from other libraries may be renewable if the library allows, so there is a due date clearly indicated on the label. Books from the Virginia Tech collection are renewable.