Changes to e-resources login – progress

We are currently migrating e-resources OpenAthens authentication access from a local server to one hosted by OpenAthens themselves.

Please bear with us. Whilst transferred access to some resources has been smooth, access to others has needed fixing. Our E-Resources Team is testing all resources, but if you discover a ‘forbidden error’ message yourself, please let us know: email or submit an e-resources problem report form. We’d really appreciate it!

Unfortunately this week there is also a separate security issue with Google Chrome following their security update. Publishers are in the process of updating their links but if you encounter this error, we recommend trying the link in a different browser like Edge or FireFox.

Why change servers?

The change comes because OpenAthens no longer provide support for locally hosted versions of this system and the local hardware has reached end of life status, but the change will also bring in some additional positives such as more seamless access to e-resources and a more consistent way of logging in. Open laptop

What will be different?

From 14 December, you will start to see changes with how you log into e-resources. The University Single Sign On page will change and look the same as the page you see when you log into other University services such as your emails or other Office 365 services. This also means that you will need to use a different username to log into e-resources. Where previously you only used your two letter and six digit username (e.g. ab123456) to log in, you will now need to add the suffix of your email address (e.g. This is the same username you will already use to log into services such as Blackboard. Your password will not change. 

This change will not affect how you log into your Library account to renew loans, place holds etc, this username will remain as ab123456 without the email suffix. 

More info

For further information on the server migration and details of how it may affect personalisation features such as alerts and saved searches, please see our previous blog post. 

As always, if you are having any issues accessing e-resources, you can contact us via or by submitting an e-resources problem report form. We are always happy to help. 

E-resources Team 

Using the Library over the Christmas holidays

Paper angel on top of book tree in the Library foyer

Be like our book angel and stay on top of your library books this Christmas!

Whether you’re heading home soon or staying on campus over the vacation, this summary of available Library services can help you plan ahead. We wish you happy holidays and effective studying – stay safe everyone!

Library opening

Term ends on Friday 11 December, so after this date the Library will be operating reduced opening hours. This will affect the times that you are able to book study space, Click & Collect loans, book IT Service Desk appointments and use the Library Cafe.

From Saturday 12 December till Monday 21 December, the Library will be open from 08:30 to early evening on weekdays only. There are no weekend services available.

Along with the rest of the campus, the Library closes completely on Tuesday 22 December until Sunday 3 January for the University Christmas closure.

From Monday 4 January till Friday 8 January, we resume vacation-hours opening, and from Saturday 9 January we’ll be open for term-time hours again.

Borrow until January 2021

To help borrowers heading home early due to UK government guidance, we’re lending everything to all Library members until Tuesday 12 January. Any items borrowed or renewed from Monday 30 November will issue until 12 January. These vacation loans include standard, 7-day, overnight loans and journals.

Store and Closed Access requests

If you need materials from the off-site Store or from our Closed Access shelves, be aware of the final dates of collection and make sure you place your request in time.

  • Store collections finish for Christmas on Thursday 17 December – get your request in before 08:30 on this day.
  • Closed Access collections will finish for Christmas on Friday 18 December – get your request in before 13:45.

We will next collect from Closed Access on 4 January and from Store on 7 January (these dates might be subject to change if there is a shortage of available staff). For more information, see Requesting items from Store and Closed Access.

Online help

All our expert staff are available online to help and advise you throughout the vacation (except during the Christmas closure period).

If you have a general enquiry, email or phone 0118 378 8770.

More info

Check our Current Library Services guide for up-to-date information, especially if there are changes to current government guidelines.

Library User Services

Borrow until January for Christmas!

A Christmas tree made of books

Our Christmas present to you! Borrow all vacation, 30 November to 12 January.

To help borrowers heading home early due to UK government guidance, we’re lending everything to all Library members from Monday 30 November until Tuesday 12 January.

These Christmas vacation loans will include standard, 7-day, overnight loans and journals. We hope this will make things a little easier for everyone!

What about holds?

If other Library members have already placed a hold on a 7-day or standard loan item, we will only lend you the item for 7 days. If someone is already waiting to use a Short Loan item we will only be able to lend you the item on overnight loan, so that everyone gets the chance to use the material they need.

If you need an item before January, you can still place holds as normal and we will contact the borrower and try to get it back for you.

We may need to recall your Library books during the vacation if another person requests them, so please check your email regularly. If you have difficulty returning items or any other questions, then please email for help and guidance.

Vacation hours

See our opening hours for full details of Library opening times over the vacation. No items will be due back between Monday 21 December and Sunday 3 January, the University closure period.

Rebecca Ashley, Library User Services

Keeping the Library COVID-secure

This is a reminder about COVID-secure measures within the Library:

  • There are no group study spaces. Independent study only is supported – you must be seated alone.
  • All seating has been arranged to allow for social distancing. Please do not move any furniture.
  • Signs about COVID-secure measures are there to protect your health and safety and are not to be removed.
  • The study space booking system has been introduced to allow all students to book a space on an equal basis. Any misuse of the system may prevent students with legitimate bookings from entering the building irrespective of their having a booking, and will be addressed.
  • All study seat bookings will be checked before giving entry to the Library in order to avoid misuse of the system.

Working together, we can ensure that the Library is a safe place for all to work and study in. We rely on your co-operation to make this happen. Thank you.

Stuart Hunt
Director of University Library & Collections Services and University Librarian

Authentication server migration 14 December

Laptop and book seen from above, person's left hand on book and right on keyboard. onAfter the end of term on the 14 December 2020, we will be migrating our OpenAthens authentication for e-resources access from our locally hosted version (a server on campus) to a server hosted by OpenAthens themselves. We will remain members of the UK Federation so you will still look for “Institutional Login” style links for login on the resources. We are migrating now as OpenAthens no longer provide support for locally hosted versions of this system and the local hardware has reached end of life status. Some additional positives are that we can stop having different access routes for on/off campus access and you will be able to use your full IT Account credentials (full email address and password) as you already do to access many University of Reading systems.

You should not notice a break in access to resources or a change to your experience of them but we wanted to inform you of the migration in case you wish to back up any personalisations you may have made on individual platforms. These features may include the ability to save highlighted phrases or quotes, add notes, save annotated images, create alerts, save searches or simply bookmark a certain chapter.

With the help of your Academic Liaison Librarians we have identified key platforms that we know use such features and contacted the relevant suppliers to ensure a smooth transition with no loss of your data, wherever possible. Our investigations lead us to be reasonably confident that the migration will not affect any personalisation you may have set-up on most supplier platforms. However, we would strongly recommend downloading or making a note of any saved searches, alerts and notes, etc before the migration date 14 December 2020, so that in the unlikely event the changes we make do affect personalisation, your research will be unaffected.

We are aware that user accounts on the Ebook Central platform will have to be moved over to the new authentication system manually after the migration has occurred. If you notice that your annotations or bookshelf are missing after the migration, please contact us at and we will work with Ebook Central to restore these.

As always, if you are having any issues accessing e-resources, you can contact us via or by submitting an e-resources problem report form. We are always happy to help.

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

A world of exploration on your screen

A pile of globes

We currently have a trial to The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) online archive. A large number of the archives from the UK’s learned society for geography and professional body for geographers have been digitised. Spanning 1478 to 1953, the archive contains more than 150,000 maps, charts and atlases, complemented by manuscripts, field notes, expedition reports, scrapbooks, correspondence, diaries, illustrations, and sketches. Books, diaries and photographs from some of the foremost geographers and explorers are included, such as Gertrude Bell, John Hanning Speke, David Livingstone, Robert Falcon Scott, Richard Francis Burton, Ernest Shackleton, and Edmund Hillary. The archive is likely to be of interest to those studying/researching many different subject areas, ranging from Geography to Post-Colonial & De-Colonization Studies.

Access to The Royal Geographical Society Online Archive is available on- and off-campus until Thursday 10 December.

Please send any feedback you may have to Charlie Carpenter, Academic Liaison Librarian for History, at

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

Safe studying

Thank you to everyone who has helped keep the Library a safe place to study by following the procedures we’ve put in place. Now that we’re getting used to a second lockdown it’s even more important to take extra care and carry on following all the guidance to stay safe.

The Department for Education guidance for using libraries and study spaces underpins our hygiene measures and asks that you:

  • Maintain social distancing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands frequently, or use our sanitiser
  • Clean your work area with our wipes
  • Study independently

We’ll get through this together!

Your Library Team

System maintenance 12 November – some services disrupted

Open laptop

On Thursday 12 November from 22:00 to 22:30, the Library Catalogue, Enterprise, will be down for routine maintenance. This means that some services will be unavailable during the down period:


You will still be able to… 

  • Use Summon for online access to journal articles, book chapters, and much more! 

But you won’t be able to… 

  • Access the Library catalogue. 
  • Request a book through our Click and Collect services
  • Access your online Library account to renew your loans or pay fines. 
  • Place an Inter-Library Loan request. 
  • Request items from Closed Access or the Store. 

The upgrade is planned to have finished by 22:30, but we will still designate the system as ‘at risk’ on that day. We will let you know if Enterprise will be unavailable for longer than initially planned. 

If you have trouble accessing e-resources you can contact the E-resources Team on or you can fill in a Problem Report Form. 

If you want to talk to someone about your account you can contact the Library at 

Sophie Dorman – E-resources Team 

Library open daily but not overnight during lockdown

Book ahead to visit the Library  daytime or evenings in lockdown, but not overnight.

Due to the new lockdown period in England, 5 November to 2 December 2020, the University Library opening hours will be changing. We will close overnight and reopen again at 08:30 each morning, except Saturdays when we’ll close at 21:00 as usual.

Starting from 00:01 Thursday 5 November our revised opening hours will be:

  • Sunday to Friday  08:30 – 00:00
  • Saturdays            08:30 – 21:00

Any study space bookings already scheduled for nights affected will be cancelled – we apologise for the inconvenience.

However, all our services and facilities remain operating as normal during our opening hours so you can still use the Click & Collect service, book study spaces, and book an IT Service Desk appointment. All our online services remain unchanged. See our Current Library Services guide for further information.

Sue Egleton, Associate Director (Systems and User Services)

Accessing resources in Summon

Open laptopDuring week 6 (week beginning 2 November 2020we will be making some changes you may notice in SummonWe are working towards a more consistent approach for logging into e-resources, and this is a step towards that. These changes should mean that there will be fewer resources for which you will need to find the institutional login on the platform.  

These changes may take up to a week to come into effect, but you should still be able to access all our content as normal. The only change you should experience is the order in which you log in to online resources.  During this period, you may still need to log in via the institutional login on the platform as you have been doing if you are accessing off-campus. However, as the updates take effect you may find that for some of our resources in Summon, you will now be prompted to log in via our Single Sign On page before you reach the online resourceOnce you have logged in, you will be directed to the content and will be authenticated so you can access everything we subscribe to on the platform.  

These changes do not affect what you use to log in to e-resources, you will still just need your IT username, e.g. ab123456 (not your full email address), and password.  

We do not anticipate any problems with access to resources in Summon. However, should you experience any access issues, we do have alternative routes that you can use to navigate to e-resources. You can use Enterprise (first search box on the library homepage) to search for e-books and online journal titles, and our databases a-z list, which contains database level links to our subscribed platforms.  

As always, if you are having any issues accessing e-resources, you can contact us via or by submitting an e-resources problem report form. We are always happy to help.  

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team

Off-site Store collection cancelled this week

We are unable to fetch items from our Off-site Store this week due to staffing issues so with regret there will be no collection on Thursday 22 October.

We hope to resume Off-site Store collections next week, so any items Shelves with boxes of documentsrequested will be fetched on Thursday 29 October. If you have requested an item you will receive an email when it is available to collect.


Natalie Guest
Document Delivery Coordinator / Academic Liaison Librarian

Take the pain out of referencing with EndNote or Mendeley

Student studying in the LibraryHave you been marked down for inconsistencies in referencing? Are you fed up with writing all of your references by hand? There are programs that can take the pain out of referencing by storing your references and helping you create bibliographies in Microsoft Word.

We’re running workshops throughout the year covering two of the options available – whether you’re working on essays, your dissertation, or starting your PhD, come along and find out how much time you can save! You can book onto either of these beginners sessions on RISIS under the Actions tab.

Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote is a comprehensive reference management system and is designed for postgraduate researchers and staff. You can download accurate references from many databases, such as Web of Science. Use the ‘Find Full-text’ feature to automatically download and attach PDFs for those references. In addition, you can select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. It’s available on all campus PCs through Apps Anywhere, and can be downloaded free on your own computer via the IT Self-Service Portal. We’re running online workshops at the following times this term:

  • Wed 14 October 2020 14:00-15:00
  • Wed 4 November 2020 14:00-15:00
  • Wed 25 November 2020 14:00-15:00

There’s also an online version of EndNote which we recommend to undergraduates and masters students.

See our EndNote guide to find out more.


Mendeley is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. We mainly recommend it for undergraduate and masters students. Its main feature is the ‘watched folder’ – any time you add a PDF to a selected folder, Mendeley will automatically retrieve the details. You can also drag and drop PDFs directly into your library or use its Web Importer for details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with article PDFs, Mendeley is a good option for you. It has both online and desktop versions – both are free to use, but only the desktop version works with Microsoft Word. Workshops are taking place at the following times this term:

  • Wed 21 October 2020 14:00-15:00
  • Wed 11 November 2020 14:00-15:00
  • Wed 2 December 2020 14:00-15:00

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

Book your place

Sign up to any of these workshops through the Actions tab on RISIS. The sessions will take place online.

If you can’t make any of the specified sessions but would like to know more, take a look at our reference management guide or contact your Liaison Librarian.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian