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Reading Lists: Finding Online Resources

Library search

To get started with finding online resources for your reading list, we recommend using the library search. To do this, use the search bar on the library homepage and search by title, author or topic. 

You can use additional filters on the left-hand side of the page to narrow down results. This is useful for ensuring availability, as you can show only items that are available online, or those that are open access. There are also filters at the top of the page that can be used if you are searching for a specific format; for example, if you are looking for video or film, or journal articles in particular.

A-Z databases

When searching for resources, you can use our A-Z Databases to search through platforms to which the library subscribes and has access. These can be a great starting point when looking for subject-specific content and will ensure library availability.

Open access content is also often integrated within the databases and publisher websites of which you are already familiar. Open access content is accessible to all wherever they are, without requiring a log in. This means students have access both after they graduate, and before they are registered at the University. You can find databases with open access content by filtering the A-Z database list; just select "open access" where the default is "all subjects". Further information on finding open access content is available below.

Subject guides

To help you locate online resources, our subject guides can help greatly. Divided by subject matter, each of our guides gives information about various sources for texts and databases to which the library provides access. 

The subject guides also include useful information for students, such as referencing and search skills guidance.

On each subject guide, you will also find information about our Academic Liaison Librarians who are on hand to give specialised subject information and advice if needed. 

Open access resources

Open access (OA) refers to free and unrestricted access to literature; in other words, making research available online with no cost to the reader. Researchers will be familiar with using and publishing OA material and the benefits of doing so. An increasing amount of content recommended for our students is therefore available openly. Using open access content on your reading lists makes up-to-date research easily available to students to support them in the modules.

Furthermore, given the rising costs of online subscriptions and e-books, using OA resources is more important than ever to ensure that all students can access all of their modules' resources online.

Using OA resources on your reading lists means that:

  • There will be no delay between adding resources to the list and student access as the library does not need to purchase the resource. This is especially helpful when adding resources to your list throughout the year.
  • All students can access the resource online when they need to, without any restrictions.
  • OA resources are shared under creative commons licences, meaning there is less cause for concern around potential copyright restrictions preventing you from adding the material to your reading list.
  • Students will be able to access material before the course starts or after they leave university, as they will not rely on institutional subscriptions.
  • Access in permanent, so if the institutional subscription changes it will not affect the OA content.
  • You can add pre-prints to your reading list to be discussed in class, as these are early OA versions that haven't been published or gone through a peer review process yet.
  • You are promoting good practice to potential future researchers through showcasing the benefits of publishing OA.
  • In using OA resources, you are highlighting a wider range of resources from a wider range of researchers.

The below video highlights some of the best ways to locate open access resources.

Please note: we no longer have a subscription to LeanLibrary, however LibKey Nomad is still available to use.

⭐ For more information about where to find open access content, see our open research guide.

Open access content can be integrated into your teaching in a variety of ways, ensuring parity of access and value for money, as well as broadening the perspectives represented in your teaching resources. This is true when using open access articles, monographs, and chapters, but also extends to additional formats.

For example, preprints are versions of research outputs that are yet to be formally published or peer reviewed. They are an opportunity to explore the latest research with your students and can provide opportunities to discuss the evaluation of research quality and integrity.

A wide variety of content is openly available: for example, interviews, datasets, and code. Using this wider variety of materials in your teaching provides students more ways to thing about and engage with current research, and further facilitates research-led education.

In addition, teaching materials themselves are increasingly being made available openly, as open educational resources are being developed and shared more widely. A good place to find and publish open educational resources is the National Teaching Repository.

Open access content can be added to your reading list and embedded into your teaching in the same way as paid-for content, but if you have any questions about this please do get in touch.

Access online reading lists


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Autumn/Full Year Modules: 
31st July

 Spring/Summer Modules:
31st October