Library FAQs

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1. Do I need an ORCiD to participate in this PLOS agreement?

No. However, registering for an ORCiD is recommended to assist the University of Miami in tracking your scholarly output. ORCiD (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a registry of unique identifiers for researchers and scholars that is open, non-proprietary, transparent, mobile, and community-based. ORCiD provides a persistent digital identifier to distinguish you from all other researchers. To learn more and to get your ORCiD please visit .

2. How can I get help with research questions?

You can use the Ask a Librarian chat service, book a consultation, contact a subject librarian, or work with our Peer Research Consultants.  You can also browse our online research guides.

3. How can I participate in this UM PLOS agreement?

There is no change to the author workflows for PLOS journals.  After January 1, 2022, this agreement will be extended to all corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Miami who submit to any of the twelve journals listed in this agreement. 

4. How do I cite an article or a book?

Please see our Citation and Research Management Tools page to find out more about citation management tools and to get help using them.

5. How do I find a database?

You can access the databases from the Libraries' home page. Once you click on "Databases," you will be able to search by title, by subject, or by type.

If you have trouble deciding which database best fits your need, please use our Ask-A-Librarian service for assistance. The Libraries staff can also assist you with using any particular database.

6. How do I find articles in journals?

In a hurry? Use keywords in the uSearch tab to search on the Libraries home page.

  • uSearch searches a majority of the Libraries' electronic and print journals
  • You can limit your search to articles from specific types of publications such as peer reviewed journals

Need better results? Find a database for your subject by using the Research Guides.

7. How do I find audio recordings?

Audio recordings, including CDs, vinyl records (LPs) and audiocassettes, are stored behind the circulation desk at Weeks Music Library. To check out these items, you must provide library staff with a call number.

You can search for recordings by using the “CD/DVD” link at the top of the main Library website. For best results, you can also use the catalog’s Advanced search to combine composers, titles, performers, and other information. For tips on how to search the catalog for recordings, click here.

8. How do I find books?

uSearch, the default search on the UM Libraries website, allows you to search for materials at all UM libraries at once.

If you're not sure of the exact title, just type a few words from the title in the search box.

For more precise searching, click on uSearch Advanced under the orange search button. You can do a Title search if you know the exact name of the book by switching the dropdown from Any Field to Title.

If you want books by a particular person, switch the dropdown to Author and type in the last name first. If you want to see books that other people have written about an author, such as William Shakespeare, then you would put Shakespeare in as a Subject.

Subject searches can be tricky because the Libraries use a strict, formal set of subject terms. If your Subject search does not find the material that you want, try Any Field.

9. How do I find maps?

 The Richter Library's general map collection has over 65,000 maps from around the world. Both Special Collections and the CHC have additional historical maps. We also have access to many maps online.

Nearly all of the maps are listed in uSearch. The best way to find them is to do a simple search using the word "maps" and the name of the place you are interested in such as "Florida" or "London."

The Library does subscribe to some map or map-related databases. Please check our list of databases by format.


10. How do I find music scores?

Music scores are located on the 2nd floor of Weeks Music Library. They are shelved using a modified version of the Library of Congress Classification System. To view a guide to the classification system, click here.

You can search for scores in the library catalog. If you know the exact title of the musical work, you can do a Title search. To search for music by a specific composer, use the Author search. For best results, use the Advanced search to combine composers, titles, keys, opus numbers, and other information. For tips on how to search the catalog for scores, click here.

11. How do I find the right librarian to help me with my research project?

Please see this list of subject librarians and data services librarians.

12. How do I find UM dissertations and theses?

Many dissertations and theses completed at UM  since 1961 are available online through the UM Scholarly Repository.

Print copies of all UM dissertations and theses from 1943 to 2008 are available through uSearch but they are not stored on public shelves. You must find the record for the title that you want and then click on the Request button.

In uSearch, do a Title search if you know the exact name of the paper that you want. If you are not sure, use the Keyword search.

Do an Author search if you know the writer's name. Enter it last name first; i.e., Vargas, Maria.

If you want to find papers on your subject, do a Keyword search.  Include either the word "theses" or "dissertations" along with any words that describe your subject.

13. How do I troubleshoot off-campus access to electronic resources?

Access to licensed electronic resources is restricted to current UM students, faculty and staff. Most of the Libraries' electronic resources are available without restriction from any computer workstation on campus. If you are off-campus, access to licensed electronic resources will require logging in with your CaneID and password. You can find more information about CaneIDs, including what to do if you forget your username and/or password, at the CaneID home page.

NOTICE: These materials may be protected by Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Fair Use Provisions of the Copyright Law [section 107] and licensing agreements for the use of the Libraries' electronic resources prohibit the systematic downloading and retention of substantial portions of a given volume or resource. Please consult our Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources Policy for general use guidelines.

Troubleshooting Remote Access Checklist

  1. Do you have a valid CaneID username and password?

    Make sure you are using the same username and password you use to access your MyUM/CaneLink account. If you are a new student, faculty, or staff member it can take several days or weeks for your credentials to be fully processed by the University's Central IT Division. Please contact Ask a Librarian if you are a current student, faculty or staff member but are having difficulty accessing resources.

    Remote access to licensed library resources varies according to your affiliation with the University. Please consult the Access & Borrowing Privileges page to determine whether you qualify for remote access.

  2. Are you having problems with all electronic resources, or just a specific resource?

    Sometimes there are problems with a specific vendor or resource. Try to connecting to several other licensed resources to see if you have a problem to connecting to everything, or just a specific resource.

  3. Are you on the Medical Campus?

    The Calder Medical Library separately licenses many resources. If you are affiliated with the Medical Campus, please contact Calder Library staff at

  4. What internet browser are your using?  Are Cookies enabled?

    Make sure the Cookies and JavaScript are enabled in your browser, as most resources require these in order to connect and utilize the various search services. Try connecting with a different browser, e.g. try using Chrome, if you have problems with Firefox. Sometimes certain forms, scripts, or services have difficulty working properly in one browser or another.

  5. Are you behind a firewall?

    If you are behind a non-UM firewall, make sure it is configured to allow access to the Libraries' proxy server (, in order to allow proper authentication through the University's CaneID service.

14. Is there a limit to the number of articles that can be published in PLOS journals under this agreement?

No. This agreement includes any articles by corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Miami that are accepted for publication between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2024.

15. Is there a limit to the number of articles that one researcher can submit to PLOS under this agreement?

No.  This agreement includes any PLOS articles accepted for publication between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2024, from corresponding authors affiliated with the University of Miami.

16. Tell me more about Journal Rankings and Impact Factors.

Use Journal Citation Reports.

ISI Journal Citation Reports (JCR) is a multidisciplinary database that presents statistical data useful for determining the relative importance of journals within 224 predefined subject categories.
JCR enables researchers to:

  • Find the highest-impact journals
  • Find the most cited journals in a subject field
  • Identify subject review journals
  • Analyze journal citation trends

17. What is my cost to participate in this PLOS agreement?

There is no cost to corresponding authors who are affiliated with the University of Miami.  If you are a contributing author and the corresponding author is not affiliated with the Univesity of Miami, you are not covered under this UM agreement.

18. Which journals are included in the PLOS agreement?

This agreement covers articles published in PLOS Biology, PLOS Climate, PLOS Computational Biology, PLOS Digital Health, PLOS Genetics, PLOS Global Public Health, PLOS Medicine, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, PLOS ONE, PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, and PLOS Water.

19. Who can participate in this UM PLOS agreement?

Any corresponding author who is affiliated with the University of Miami is eligible and covered under this agreement.

20. Why should I publish Open Access?

Publishing open access means free, unrestricted access, and immediate availablity of your scholarship to anyone in the world with an internet connection.

  • Author retains the copyright of their scholarship
  • Open Access articles are more visible and discoverable
  • Accelerates scientific discovery
  • Greater availability may increase citation counts

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