Ohio University currently offers students a rich amount of online records and databases to access such as Jstor, ArticlesPlus and many more. These resources make finding credible sources for essays and annotated bibliographies easy and have saved many students approaching the deadline for their research papers.
However, this list is drastically reduced once students graduate or stop attending the university. Those who are not current students lose access to the databases and other electric resources licensed to Ohio University. While some computers in Alden Library allow for people to access them, most alumni do not stay in Athens following graduation which renders this option useless.
Losing access to these databases is annoying for those who have grown used to having access to reliable resources that go through far more fact-checks than the average blog article. As a creative writing major, outside of the classroom, I spend a great deal of time researching obscure topics related to whatever subject I’m writing about. Usually, a Google search will suffice, but when it comes to historically accurate content or detailed analysis on niche topics, much of the information I need is blocked by a paywall I can only pass due to my access through Ohio University.
This access is important because databases aren’t cheap. Jstor alone is $19.50 a month, and the many magazines, newspapers and journal subscriptions that are also available to students will drive the cost up. It’s highly unlikely that a graduate will be paying for monthly access to these resources when money is tight. If their employer doesn’t offer access, they will be cut off.
Not everyone uses these databases, so it would be helpful if Ohio University provided lifelong access to help the people who do.
Currently, I am taking full advantage of one of Alden’s books compiling the day-to-day life of college students in 18th century Oxford that goes into far more detail than any free website on the subject could offer. I needed this book last year, but remote learning meant my only options were to spend over $50 on a book I just needed to skim or wait until I came back to campus. Needless to say, I waited to rent the book from Alden.
Ohio University taught us how to be scholars who do proper research, and it’s cruel to turn around and deny us the ability to access scholarly databases once we are no longer under the wing of trained professors and need to fact check on our own. Even if we are not “active” students at OU, after spending years of our lives with the university, it would be nice for them to allow us to continue to use their resources for information in a vastly changing world.
Charlene Pepiot is a senior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Charlene know by emailing her, firstname.lastname@example.org.