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Finding books during the COVID-19 closure 

The Library is shut and I can't get the books I need!

You are unlikely to be using all the books you wanted to use – many just aren’t available online via libraries – so you may need to read other books that are available.

The good news is that the Library has lots of ebooks and other online materials that you can use, and publishers are offering more additional online resources for free during the emergency.

Before you start

Open up the University Portal, login, and click on the Library link on the left to go to the Library homepage. Online library pages for help with accessing resources will help you to set up your access to University resources.

Start searching

  • Summon – the search box right in the middle of the Library homepage - includes all the ebooks we already had, and we are adding the extra free ebooks from publishers as quickly as we can.
  • To find ebooks in Summon, type in the keywords from your topic (not a sentence or question), and then use the filters on the left: choose Full text online and Book/ebook;
  • You may need to change the words you are using – use the search strategy worksheet to help you with this.

Help! That’s too complicated / I still can’t find anything!

  • Let’s try something different:
    • Search for Ebrary in Summon and click on the link you are given (for Proquest Academic Complete). This is our main ebook site also called EBookCentral, you can search with keywords or browse by subject.
    • Our second biggest general ebook site is VLebooks.
    • DOAB and OAPEN offer a range of full-length good quality academic books for free in all subjects (but more in the social sciences).
    • We have a list of our main ebook suppliers and there are more in the additional online resources
  • Have you tried looking for other books on the same topic by the same author(s)?
  • Use the Library Catalogue to search for your topic keywords, and use the dropdown menu which says View entire collection to choose Ebooks only. When you have found one book that looks good, click through to the book details and location/classmark, and use the subject links (LC Subject) at the bottom of the book details to find more books on that subject.

I still haven’t got enough!

Add some more journal articles to your reference list:

  • Try a keyword search in Summon and use the Peer-Review filter to find articles (note: Google and Google Scholar will not find or link you to large swathes of the content you can access through the University).
  • Your tutor may have suggested articles or whole journals to use in your reading list. Look for the journal (so for example, The Lancet, Cell, Journal of criminal law) in Summon. Follow the link to the journal homepage. Use the search box on the journal homepage to find articles on your topic;
  • Many of the subject pages include lists of Key Journals you can try;
  • Use the subject pages to link to all the paid for resources the Library offers, plus some good free ones;
  • We now have a huge amount of extra journal content in our subject areas via Proquest Databases (look for this in Summon, but the articles can be found in a normal Summon search);
  • Project Muse, JSTOR, and Bloomsbury are giving us access to a very large number of extra academic books in the social sciences via Summon.

Remember, your subject librarians are still working and can be contacted by email or telephone.