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Library Resources for Study Abroad Students : Help

Library resources for UW-Madison students studying abroad


Library staff are here to help you!

You can ask the information professionals questions about search strategies, library services and collections, and more. 

We may not have an answer for every question, but we can usually direct you to a person or office with an answer.

While you're abroad, library staff can help you

  • via chat (chat hours, all Central Time)
  • by email
  • by text/phone (Texts are responded to in real time during our operating hours. Phone callers may be prompted to leave a voicemail. We will receive your voicemail message via email attachment and will respond as soon as we’re able.)
  • by virtual consultation

The Keys to Accessing Library Resources

To use many of the journals, databases, and e-books the library provides access to, you'll need to

  1. use links from the Libraries website, and
  2. log in with your UW NetID and password.

Why?  Because the UW-Madison Libraries (and you, through your tuition dollars), pay to have access to this content.  These databases want to make sure you're affiliated with an organization that has subscriptions to these resources. 

If your NetID is not working with library resources, we have some troubleshooting advice.

VPN (virtual private network)

Some library resources require logging in to the WiscVPN (virtual private network). 

  • DoIT page about the WiscVPN, including links to install the software.

Off-Campus Access

Advice for Off-Campus Access to library resources, including information on 

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  • Cookies

Subject librarians

Each academic department at UW-Madison is assigned a subject librarian.

A subject librarian

  • works with the faculty of a department to best determine what books, journals, databases, services are needed by that department.
  • can provide in-depth help to students doing advanced research on that subject.

Subject librarians are generally in their libraries 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time weekdays, but often have meetings or classes that take them out of the library.  It is best to contact subject librarians for appointments, and to contact them at least a few days before you wish to meet with them.

List of subject librarians, by subject, with email addresses and phone numbers

Research tips & tricks

The Library Research Tutorials page has short videos and instruction pages on common library tasks, like

  • research basics
  • finding books
  • finding articles
  • evaluating sources
  • citing sources

The online workshop UW-Madison Libraries: Welcome, will give you an overview of the libraries.

Research guides

Research guides are created by librarians to help you get started on your research.  They include things like

  • lists of reference works
  • search strategies for finding books and articles
  • information on finding statistics
  • information on finding maps
  • digital resources
  • organizations
  • contact information for a subject librarian

The list of research guides has an alphabetical list of broad subject on the left.  Click on a subject, and a list of guides on narrower topics will appear to the right.

Some research guides cover specific formats of information, like