Library FAQs

Please review this set of common inquiries before sending us an email as many items are already covered here and we want you to find an answer as quickly as possible!

Is your question not listed on this page? Please send all general enquires using the Ask a Librarian form.

General Questions

Q. What does the Library at Signum University consist of?

A. Our library contains mostly digital resources to support the study of language and literature that are the core of the courses offered by Signum and Mythgard Academy: fantasy and science fiction literature, philology and language study.

Q. Can I access these resources if I live outside the United States?

A. Yes, anyone in the world with access to the internet is able to access our library resources. The only limitation is access to Library’s restricted electronic resources, which are confined to current students, faculty, staff, and other authorized users. Current students and faculty are those who have taken, audited, or taught a course at the Signum Graduate school within the last three academic terms.

Q. If I were taking a Signum University MA level course, what journals would I be able to access?

A. Students currently have access to over two hundred high quality, peer reviewed research journals, through a subscription to the Project Muse Humanities Collection. These include Tolkien Studies, Chaucer Review, The Journal of Modern Literature, Victorian Studies, and Children’s Literature.

Q. I took a MA course with Signum University or the Mythgard Institute a while ago, can I still access the resources subscribed to by the Library?

A. No, you have to be a current student, who has taken or audited a course at the Signum Graduate school within the last three academic terms to have access to the Library on the digital campus. However, there are many open access resources and free content online that we have included in our research guides, which are available here for all to explore.

Library E-resources (including Project Muse & JSTOR)

Q. I am a current student on a Signum University MA-level course. How do I access the Library’s restricted electronic resources?

A. All enrolled students, including those auditing MA-level courses, are given access to Signum’s digital campus. There are links to the university library on every course page, as well as on the home page of the campus. Access to our restricted electronic resources, e.g. Project Muse and JSTOR, is through a referral link that is only on our library page.

Q. How do I login to Project Muse or JSTOR from their website when Signum University is not on the list of registered institutions?

A. Access to Project Muse and JSTOR is only through our digital campus and is not available directly through their websites. It is your student login that provides the authentication for Project Muse and JSTOR from this subscription page.

Q. I know that digital resources frequently have geographical restrictions or can only be used on one type of device. Does this apply to the Library’s electronic collection?

A. No. We never purchase resources or take out subscriptions which are not available for all current students, faculty and staff to use. Signum University exists to make Liberal Arts teaching available to students everywhere and therefore our Library resources have no geographical boundaries either and aim to be device agnostic as well.

Q. Does the university provide access to ebooks as well as electronic journals?

A. At the moment we only provide access to electronic journals through our subscription to the Project Muse Humanities Collection and JSTOR’s Literature and Language Collection. Our team is continually exploring what new resources are available and how best to provide them to students and faculty, and we plan to expand our collection in the future to include ebooks and other digital resources.

Q. There are electronic versions of key texts at many online stores. Why does the Library not have copies to lend to students?

A. Electronic books bought from standard online retailers do not conform to our policy of only providing resources that are available to all students, regardless of where they are based or what device they use to read them. Most digital books bought this way contain DRM which limits them to being read in particular parts of the world or on specific devices. Also the license to use the electronic resource often prohibits using them for loan. There are a few exceptions, but these are only in certain distinct and very limited circumstances.

Research Guides & Help

Q. What are the research guides and how can they help me study?

A. The research guides provide links to open access resources that are freely available online, as well as other relevant journals or magazines. They provide tools to help you locate resources to further your research, whether you are just beginning to explore a topic or delving into a long-time research interest. Areas covered include Fantasy literature, Science Fiction, detective fiction, creative writing, foreign languages such as Latin, Anglo-Saxon and Norse, Philology and Mythology.

Q. Why do the research guides link to some resources that have to be paid for or need a subscription?

A. The research guides are a tool to help you further your research. All the resources, free or not, often have searchable indexes and abstracts, so you can find relevant articles and then potentially use your own local library’s interlibrary loan service to receive a copy. You might find a journal that is so interesting that you take out a personal subscription to it yourself!

Q. Do these research guides list everything on that topic that can be found on the internet?

A. No, the list is not exhaustive and we are adding to it all the time. Contact the team using the ‘Ask the Librarian’ contact form if you have any suggestions of relevant resources that can be considered to be added to our guides.

Q. Are the librarians able to help me with my research?

A. Signum University students, faculty and staff are able to contact the librarians using the ‘Ask the Librarian’ contact form  for help in locating resources both within and outside the library’s offerings, as well as for suggestions on the best way to approach researching a topic, guidance on how to keep track of and reference sources to avoid plagiarism, as well as assistance in using library resources.