Discovering Information and research

Finding and accessing scholarly publications

There are many ways to discover and access scholarly works, both through the University’s subscribed content and through open access resources. You can find more information and useful links below.

Library resources

The University’s primary discovery tool provides access to all Library holdings, both print and electronic, including books, journals and databases. You can access StarPlus through the A-Z list of services in MUSE.
StarPlus video tutorial.

BrowZine is a free app for your mobile device, which allows you to explore the range of online journals in your subject. It can also be used on your desktop PC. You can read, save and export articles through Browzine, create your own bookshelves and fill them with your favourite journals, and link to EndNote and Mendeley.

Our subject guides can help you to browse the Library's collections by subject. While primarily aimed at students, they are a useful introduction for anyone searching for key resources in a specific subject.

The University is home to hundreds of unique collections and archives, including the National Fairground and Circus Archive. Many of these valuable resources can be used in teaching and research.

  • Off-campus access

Most online resources provided through the Library are available to members of the University when logged in to MUSE, wherever you are in the world. However, you may need to connect to the University VPN to access some journals, and some resources may have geographical restrictions. Box of Broadcasts, for example, is only available in the UK.

Open access material

Many scholarly outputs are freely - and legally - available under various open access initiatives. There are a number of online tools that can help you to locate open access materials.

  • Open textbooks

Open textbooks have permissive licences that allow academic staff to use, adapt and share books with their students. Textbooks can be adopted for use in their entirety, or you can incorporate elements of them into your own teaching materials. The Open Textbook Library contains over 700 peer-reviewed titles.

  • Open access books and journals

The Directory of Open Access Journals provides details of peer-reviewed, high-quality open access journals, while the Directory of Open Access Books lists thousands of peer-reviewed books that are free to read and share.

  • Scholarly articles

Using tools such as Open Access Button, Unpaywall and CORE Discovery, you can find legal, freely available copies of scholarly articles across the range of academic subjects. Articles may be available through a journal website or an online repository such as WRRO.

  • Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that can be used and reused at no cost. Ranging from online activities and textbooks to complete lecture courses, no permission is required to use OER, but they may be available under different Creative Commons licences. You can find more information at the OER Commons.

Items not currently accessible

While extensive resources are available through the Library and open access initiatives, some useful resources may not currently be accessible through these routes. Several options are available to you in this case.

If there is a book, journal or other material you think the Library ought to provide in support of the University’s research, let us know by completing the Library resource recommendation form.

If an article, conference paper or book is not available from the Library or through open access routes, you may be able to access it through the InterLibrary Request Service. The InterLibrary Loan Request form can be found in the A-Z list of MUSE services.

  • Approaches from publishers and suppliers

Some publishers may contact you directly to gauge your interest in a journal or other product, and to offer you a trial. These invariably involve a commitment to future costs, and there are other factors to consider too. With this in mind, please get in touch with the librarian for your department, who can assess the offers, inform you of any existing arrangements and arrange any trials as necessary.