New Library Search Tool Now Available, Plus Other Systems Improvements

The USC Libraries have overhauled their behind-the-scenes systems to make it easier for USC students, faculty, and staff to discover and request library resources. These improvements – an investment encouraged by survey feedback from USC’s scholarly community – were rolled out through the USC Libraries’ website on July 25, 2017.

Although much of the work was behind the scenes, library users can experience the benefits through a new Search function. This powerful tool helps researchers find the books, journals, databases, and other library resources they need from a single, Google-like search box on the USC Libraries homepage. It replaces both the existing library Search function (formerly named Quick Search) as well as the archaic HOMER catalog. First-time users will find the new Search even more intuitive than the old. At the same time, power users will discover tools for refining and narrowing searches that HOMER never offered.

Other improvements abound. The new system better integrates electronic resources, making them easier to find through a simple search rather than by navigating multiple webpages and catalog entries. It seamlessly unites library resources from both the UPC and HSC campuses. It also streamlines the process of requesting materials when the USC Libraries don’t already own or provide access to a resource a USC researcher needs.

Please note that, temporarily, some library users who do not have a current USC email address will not be able to login to check due dates, renew books, or page items from the Grand Depository online. Until that online access is restored, library staff can perform those functions. Please contact the Doheny Library circulation desk at (213) 740-2924.

Update, July 25: This post was updated to reflect today’s launch of the new features and systems improvements.

Library catalog eResources links are broken – Fixed!

The links in the library catalog (HELIX) to electronic resources currently do not work.  Until further notice, find working links through the eResources search box on the library homepage.  Click on the eResources tab and either search for a title or click on the A-Z links to browse.


This problem has now been fixed.  Links in both the library catalog and eResources search box work correctly.  Thanks for your patience.

Extended Hours all weekends in May!

The Library will have Extended Hours throughout May as follows:

Friday – 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturday – 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

(May 5 & 6, 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 26 & 27)

Extended Hours in December!

The library will have Extended Hours as follows:

Friday, December 2: 7am – 10pm
Saturday, December 3: 9am – 10pm
Friday, December 9: 7am – 10pm
Saturday, December 10: 9am – 10pm

Scholarly Communication Topic: Can I give away copies of journal articles I have published to my students, my colleagues, or research collaborators?

When you write something, you own that written work and have the right to control who uses it and when. When you publish this work through a publisher, you are sometimes asked to transfer some of your rights to the publisher. The exact rights you transfer are listed in the agreement you sign. Often you are asked to transfer your copyright to a publisher, and this agreement is called copyright transfer.

Some copyright transfer agreements prohibit authors from distributing any copies of their final published article, some limit the distribution to pre-edited manuscripts, and some don’t limit your ability to distribute at all. Make sure you are clear what your agreement was when you published your article. If you’re not sure where to find that information, a good place to start is SHERPA/RoMEO, which can link you to specific journal/publisher copyright policies.

When publishing an article, you can ask the publisher to modify the terms of a copyright transfer agreement. Retaining the rights to distribute copies of articles for non-commercial uses is a frequent addition. You also may want to modify the agreement to provide for other rights, like the right to place a copy in PubMed Central. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has created an Author Addendum that you can use (or modify to fit your needs) to ensure you retain the rights you want.

The signing of the copyright transfer agreement is the only chance you have to negotiate for your rights to use your work. Consider what you’re signing before publishing your next article.

Section name and position changes at the Norris Medical Library

The Norris Medical Library announces two changes to align library services with the information support needs of the USC community.

The Educational & Research Services section is renamed Research and Instruction Services (RAIS). The RAIS section will continue to conduct reference services and instructional services including open workshops and course-integrated education, and will now expand educational and support services for the research community on the health sciences campus. Review our Scholarly Communication, Systematic Reviews, or NIH Public Access Policy subject guides to see a preview of the types of support and education provided by RAIS’ Research Librarians.

In addition to the name change, Clinical & Research Librarian Robert Johnson will step down as liaison to the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. This permits Karin Saric, Information Services Librarian, to take over as liaison. Karin has been the liaison to The Mrs. T.H. Chan Division Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy since joining Norris Medical Library in 2013. This change will align librarian expertise and library support with the groundbreaking research and clinical work being conducted by the students, staff, and faculty of the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy.

New food and drink policy at Norris Medical Library

The Norris Medical Library has changed its food and drink policy. In addition to permitting snacks and drinks in covered containers on any floor,  users can now bring in meals in the Exchange on the first floor. Review the full policy here; it also appears in our Code of Conduct:

  • Drinks are permitted in the library as long as they are in covered containers.  Users with drinks without lids will be asked to consume them outside of the library.
  • All food is allowed in The Exchange. Users eating meals elsewhere in the library will be asked to move to the Exchange.
  • Snacks (foods that do not require utensils; are not messy, smelly, or noisy; and are packaged in individual containers) are permitted throughout the library, including in group study rooms.
  • Users are asked to clean up after themselves. Large, covered trash cans are available throughout the library.
  • No food or drink is permitted in the computer classroom or the computer lab.

We think this new policy strikes a good balance between making the Norris Library a welcoming place to study and learn, and protecting our materials and equipment from inadvertent damage. We welcome your comments about this policy and others– send questions, concerns, and reactions to