Education: Accessing Resources After Graduation

Education research at Virginia Tech is encompassed in three departments: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Learning Sciences and Technology, and Teaching and Learning.

Because of the licensing agreements the VT Libraries has with vendors and publishers, many of the resources available to you as a VT student will not be available to you after graduation. After having access to so much while you were a student, losing that access can feel like losing a lifeline, especially if your next move after graduation is not to another university. However, there are some databases that VT makes available to alumni, and the amount of open access materials is growing every day. Check out the links below for more details on some of the resources available to you. 

Databases for Alumni

The databases above are not the only ones available to alumni; check out our Alumni Library Portal for a full list and information on accessing these databases. 

Other Resources

While more and more resources are being made openly available, some will still be behind a paywall and be available off-campus only to affiliates of institutions that subscribe. The VT Libraries offer services for community members, including borrowing privileges and the ability to access electronic resources on public library computers. Learn more here.

If you live near a college or university, check with their library and see if they offer borrowing services for local residents or the opportunity for the public to come to the library to access electronic resources. 

Google Scholar can be a useful place to search for scholarly literature and a source you've likely used a lot already. While you will encounter plenty of items behind a paywall, Google Scholar also does a good job of finding open access versions of articles. 

Two browser extensions can help track down open access versions of articles found in sources such as ERIC and Google Scholar: Unpaywall and the Open Access Button

If you find a journal article behind a paywall and are unable to find an open access version, check with your local public library to see if they can get the article for you via interlibrary loan. Many public libraries also offer databases to library card holders. While these are not likely to be the same academic databases you had access to at VT, they are worth checking out.