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POL Dept. Orientation

Information, tools, and resources for using the library effectively for students and faculty

Using the Library


Access print collections

  • You can access the stacks directly, request books for pick-up, or request digitization of articles/chapters from our print collection. To request an item for pick-up or digitization, click the blue “Request" button in the catalog record. 

Borrowing privileges


  • Place a request through the catalog for books which are checked out or in offsite storage (ReCAP). Items come in 1-4 days, depending on location
  • Use Borrow Direct for books the Library doesn't own. Items come in 3-4 days
  • Use Interlibrary Loan for books not available in Borrow Direct or other item types (DVDs, journals, microforms)
  • Use Article Express for electronic delivery of articles, conference papers, book chapters, etc.

Printing privileges

  • Graduate students are allotted 3600 per year. A sheet is defined as an actual piece of paper. This means that if you print double-sided, you can not only save paper but make the most of your allotted quota. Note: color prints "cost" 3 sheets from your quota.
  • OIT has instructions on printing to the PawPrint clusters, which are available in the library and other locations on campus

Important services and tools

Data sources

POL Dissertations

Citation management tools

Statistical Services

Research Computing and Software

GIS/Spatial Analysis

Open Access Publishing

  • Princeton’s Open Access Publication Fund aims to help Princeton authors, especially graduate students, junior faculty, and researchers in the humanities and social sciences, underwrite publication charges when publishing in fee-based Open Access publications when no other funding sources are available.
  • Cambridge & Wiley Read & Publish OA agreements

Research Data Management

Accessing resources remotely

Off-campus access to electronic resources

We subscribe to many journals, websites, and other databases (think JSTOR), but most of these resources are currently set up to recognize Princeton users by IP address. When you're off-campus, you won't have access to our subscribed resources. If you have trouble accessing an electronic resource, here are some solutions to try:

  • Connect to resources through links on the Library website.
    • Ebooks, databases, journal articles, etc., that are linked to from have some code embedded in the links that will prompt you to authenticate with your netID and password and then pass you through a proxy server to the resource. (If you're curious, those links will generally look something like this:
  • Use the Zotero connector browser extension to remember proxy links
    • Using this method, you connect through the library the first time you access a resource, and then the extension remembers the proxy link and routes you directly in the future. (Note: there are a handful of resources that don't work via proxy links, so in those cases, use method #3.)
      • After installing Zotero, in your browser click on the Zotero Connector extension and then Options/Preferences>Proxies, and replace with (be sure to leave the %h. and /%p on either end). Then visit a subscribed resource from the library website and Zotero will automatically add the proxy link. See a short video demo. (NOTE: Chrome may pop-up a security warning; click the Ignore button to be routed through the proxy.)
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  • Use the SonicWall VPN to connect to resources
    • The University's primary VPN software, GlobalProtect, will NOT work for accessing most library resources. Our older SonicWall VPN software does. It will make your internet browser look like it's on campus, allowing you to access most of our subscribed resources directly, without having to link through the library's website.
    • Watch a short demo on using SonicWall VPN
  • If you're on a publisher's website, check to see if they support OpenAthens authentication. If so, select "Princeton University Library", and it should prompt you to login with your netID and password and then give you access to subscription resources. See more details and examples.
  • For easier access (often in one click) to journal articles, install the LibKey Nomad browser extension.

For fun and learning

Personal reading and learning