Guide for Visiting Readers: Alternatives to Restricted Access Databases

Many of the databases offered on Columbia Web or CLIO Plus are covered by license agreements that restrict their use to current Columbia students and faculty. While most subscription databases can be made available to visiting readers and alumni on Libraries terminals, we cannot offer off-campus access to these databases for visiting readers and alumni.

Here are some examples of alternative resources on the Internet which are publicly available. You can use many of these services free of charge. In a rapidly changing online scene, this is at best only a partial list. The best way to keep abreast of the latest developments is to read regularly computer-related publications which review information services. For this purpose, you will find a small sampling of online computer magazines at the end of this list. You may also subscribe to a current-awareness service such as Ingenta Reveal which will alert you to latest articles on the topic of your choice.

For our policy concerning the use of libraries by Columbia alumni and visitors, please consult: Use of Columbia University Libraries by Visiting Readers

Online Public Access Catalogs of Libraries

Indexing and Document Delivery Services

Some of the restricted access databases on the ColumbiaNet accept individual subscribers. For information on fees and services, consult their Web sites.

Public Access Databases in Columbia's List of References and Indexes

In the subject lists of Reference and Indexes, most items are available to current Columbia faculty, staff and students only. Click on More Info for a description of access restrictions.

To print files on the Internet from a ColumbiaNet terminal in the Libraries, inquire about fee-based printing at the Library Information Office, Butler Reference Desk or Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT) business office (Philosophy Hall, room 102).

Additional Public-Access Databases

This list is only a very small sampling of the Internet resources. Try search engines for more sources.

Internet Guides by Topics

  • E-Lib
    From this Hungarian site, you can connect to a wide range of specialized databases from mathematics and computer science to games and movies.
  • LibrarySpot
    This online library offers a good list of library catalogs, links to e-journals and general reference sources.
  • Yahoo!
    This popular classified directory has sister sites in foreign languages such as French, German and Italian. For other languages, see the Yahoo homepage.

Online Newspapers, News Wire Services and Web Sites of Radio and Television Stations



  • Directories
    Columbia Directory plus online telephone and e-mail directories.


  • PubMed (MEDLINE)

Online Access Providers' Web Pages

Although the Columbia account for e-mail and internet access is restricted to current students, faculty and staff, you can find a number of alternative local and national services. These examples are for your information only. No endorsement is implied.

Online Computer Magazines