If you are carrying out research, be it an undergraduate dissertation or a PhD thesis, there are a variety of resources and services available from the Library to help you.
In addition to the suggestions below, don’t forget that your Department or School has a designated subject liaison librarian, who is happy to offer you further advice about locating information for your research.
The best way to find articles published on your dissertation or thesis topic is to search subject databases in your subject area. These will give you references to journal articles and other published materials.
Use Enterprise, the Library catalogue, to see what online journals we have access to. Remember to search for the journal title, not the article title. Enterprise lists the online versions of journals separately from the print versions, so look for the words [electronic resource] after the journal title. Limit your search results to e-journals by selecting “Online” access and “Journal” format.
Use the Summon Discovery Service to find full-text journal articles and book chapters that you have access to.
If you are using subject databases that display the button, use this to see if we have access to the journal in question.
Use Enterprise to find Reading PhD and MPhil theses related to your subject. Theses are kept in the Library’s Closed Access section and Off-site Store (see below). To locate relevant theses written at other institutions use the sources recommended in our Finding theses guide. The British Library’s EThOS service is free and enables you to download digital theses held on their system and order paper theses for digitisation.
Closed Access and Off-site store
Material which is rarely used but which is still of value to researchers, and University of Reading theses, are kept in the Library’s Closed Access section and Off-site Store. These items have a note in Enterprise saying ‘In Closed Access – available on request’ or ‘Off-site Store – available on request.’ To request these items use the ‘Request Item from Closed Access / Off-site Store’ link in its Enterprise record and complete the online form. Your items will be collected for you by Library staff. For more information see Requesting items from closed access collections using Enterprise.
Keep up to date with published information in your subject by setting up current awareness alerts. For help see the Keeping up-to-date guide.
For items not held here at Reading…
The Inter-library loans service enables you to access journal articles and borrow books that we don’t have in our library stock.
If you are away from Reading over the summer or wish to use another library, University staff and students can access most Higher Education libraries in the UK and Ireland via the SCONUL Access scheme. This free scheme allows all students reference only access. Part-time students, those on placement, taught postgraduates and research postgraduates may also be able to borrow items. To use the scheme, register on the SCONUL Access website.
There is a dedicated Researcher web page which gives links to many of the most important sources of information. Alternatively contact your subject liaison librarian who will be happy to help advise you about sources for your research.
This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.
This tip was written by Melvin Morbey, Research Support Co-ordinator and Liaison Librarian.