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Discovering online library resources: Home

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers at the University of Oxford seeking support in using the Bodleian Libraries online library resources (also known as e-resources, these are online collections or databases of content such as journal articles, ebooks, statistics, images, case law etc.).

Use this guide for an introduction to e-resources and for information about where you can find our online library resources, if and how you can access them and where you can get help.

Navigating this guide

On this home page we explain how to search for an item you already know about, and how to search more generally for more papers about your research topic.

The other tabs in the guide cover:

Searching for a known item

If you are searching for a specific journal article (perhaps from a reading list or tracing a reference in something you have read) then search for the title of the article and one or two author surnames using SOLO

If the article does not appear in the results, you could try searching for the name of the journal only to see if we have print copies of the journal. You can then locate the volume and issue that you need and either visit the library to scan the article, or use our Scan & Deliver service.

If the article does not appear in the results, we may be able to get hold of a copy for you through our links with other libraries. Submit an interlibary loan request - a fee is charged for this service.

Searching for papers about your research topic

If you are searching for papers about your research topic you will need to choose relevant search terms or keywords to use in your search, and you will need to decide where to search.

Unsure how to decide where to search?

1) search SOLO 

2) search SOLO and try sorting and filtering your results, e.g. online resources ; peer-reviewed articles

3) search SOLO's Article search and/or Google Scholar to focus on journal articles from many journals covering all subject areas

4) search within a subject specific collection, known as databases. Your tutors, colleagues, or librarians may have suggested the most useful database - if so, search for this in SOLO and follow the link to view online. If you are unsure which databases will be useful for you, explore the Databases A-Z

Advantages to using a subject specific database include:

- less overwhelming than a  broad search in SOLO or Scholar

- curated by experts, so you know the journals included are useful and respected in your research area

- advanced search features relevant to your research area (e.g. in an education database you can indicate whether you are interested in primary, secondary or higher education)

- filters available for useful things like date or language

- articles usually come tagged with keywords and a thesaurus of useful terms relevant to your research area


Library staff will be happy to help you think about your search and point you towards useful places to search.

We also run a variety of useful workshops, some providing general advice, some focused on particular research areas


Interested in specialist materials, beyond books & journal articles? See our further guidance.

Contact us

Subject Specific Enquiries

If you have a subject enquiry please contact your subject librarian.

General Enquiries


Telephone: 01865 277162

Post: Main Enquiry Desk, Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG

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