The Online Library- Here for you
As distance learning students to be successful in your studies, we know you need access to and help from excellent library services and resources equivalent to those provided for students and faculty in traditional campus settings.
We are a team of qualified professional librarians supporting nearly 50,000 students to gain access to over 100 million electronic items including ‘essential’ e-textbooks, journal articles, databases, and conference proceedings. We can also obtain interlibrary loans from the British Library for core readings which may be missing from the Online Library and for your project/dissertations.
We offer an enquiry service via email, contact us form, telephone and Ask a Librarian Live Chat. If you need to speak to member of the library team please contact us between the hours of 9-5 London time. We aim to provide you with everything you need to develop Information Literacy skills so that you can fully exploit library resources, gain independence, avoid unwitting plagiarism and of course successfully complete your studies.
Improvements to your library this year
One of the major improvements the Online library has undertaken this year in response to your comments and feedback in a recent student experience survey, has been the implementation of a Single Sign-On authentication system which allows you to access all your learning materials including ‘essential’ readings from the Online Library with the same username/password i.e. your student portal password. However, if you are taking a SOAS Programme please note that you will still need to request and continue to use your Athens username and password.
Other improvements include an increase in our e-book collection. This year, 850 new essential textbooks have been added to the Online Library. We have also added several new databases including FT. Com, Lloyds Law reports, HSTalks, and Science Direct Freedom Collection. In response to these improvements, we have seen an a huge increase in Online Library resource usage (an average of 230%) across all programmes.) This is great news and means that many of you are benefiting from the library collections.
This year the top 5 highest users of the Online Library this year were : MA Human Rights this was followed by Refugee Protection, OPHRM, Professional Accountancy, and Computer Science. Please don’t worry if your programme has not made in the top five this year, there is still time to make it this academic year.
The entire Online Library team is here for you, please contact us whenever you need assistance.
We wish you every success in your studies this Autumn term!
The Online Library Team
Using the Online Library for your studies
Before you begin to use the Online Library you can view the Getting Started Tutorial, this is available on the Online Library portal page and also on the Library site. It is also available in the Student Support section of the Online Library website.
You can access Online Library resources with the same username/password you use to access the student portal. Find out more about this here. (If you are taking a SOAS programme please note you will still need to request an Athens username and password.)
Summon is a good starting point for your Online Library searches. Search Summon from the Online Library homepage. Find E-books and journal articles from your course reading lists by entering the author and title. You can also enter keywords into Summon to get an overview of what is available in the Library on your research topic.
To find resources and guides that are specific to your course go to the Study Programme tab and select your course from the list.
On your Study Programme gateway you will find links to the databases that have been selected for your course. These will be a mixture of multi-disciplinary databases that most courses have access to and more specialist databases relevant to your subject area. Examples of multi-disciplinary databases are JSTOR, Academic Search Complete, and Cambridge Core. Examples of the specialist databases are:
Follow these links for further help with using the Online Library
- Database Login guides When accessing resources from the Summon search you may need to take a few steps to login. If you need assistance these guides will help you access databases.
- Nutshell guides Nutshell guides are designed to give you a short introduction to the Online Library to help you get started.
- Enquiry Service If you have any questions about the Online Library, or if you're having difficulties finding or accessing readings, please contact the Online Library Enquiry Service.
You can find links to all the above in our Student Support section. This brings together all our guidance information to help you resolve any problems quickly.
Online Library webinar
Are you unsure how to use the Online Library, or feel like you could benefit from a refresher? On the 10th of July, the Online Library conducted a webinar with students, which included a short video demonstration of the Online Library, followed by a Question and Answer session. There is some great advice on conducting searches, and information about downloading E-books.
Spotlight on E-Books
Our E-Books collection is constantly growing. We now have over 2000 in the Dawsons E-Book Collection, including a selection of essential reading texts as well as books for wider reading.
We have recently added another E-book database E-Book Central (Proquest)