Skip to Main Content

Discovering online library resources: Where can I find e-resources?

Looking for databases?

Databases are collections of many sources, grouped by type or by subject. For example, we subscribe to various databases that collect together journals, images, newspapers, data or archival material.

If you want to consult a specific database you can search for the name of it on SOLO.

If you want to find journals or other types of material relevant to your subject area but are unsure which databases could be useful for you, take a look at online guidance provided by your subject librarian and/or use the Databases A-Z tool which groups databases by subject and type of content. These lists are curated by Bodleian Libraries subject specialists.

If you want to find articles without specifying a particular database use SOLO.


Online resources (e-resources) which the libraries pay for plus some free sources recommended by subject specialists are included in our search tool: SOLO.

SOLO is the official discovery tool for the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford. It allows searching of 13.8 million printed items, 177,000 electronic journals, 1.60 million e-books and c1,800 databases. It also includes Electronic Legal Deposit items and the theses and articles stored in ORA.


You may wish to consult the handouts from our past workshop on searching Google for Academic Research for tips


Using Google to find grey literature

We offer a workshop to current students on searching Google for Academic Research. Check out the handouts for latest tips & advice.

In our class we also cover searching Google - check out the video below:

You can also read a transcript of the video or follow instructions in Powerpoint.

Even Google has an advanced search option! After you've run a search it's under 'Settings'. You can use quote marks " to search for particular phrases or filter by region, language, date.

You can also use it to search a particular domain - say you want to know what the UK government has written about deworming - you can put in the 'site or domain' box (only one domain at a time, sadly). You can dictate that your search terms appear in the title of the page, or the url, not just somewhere in the text. You can also restrict the file type, so if you're looking for reports, PDFs would be a good bet.

Looking for journals?

To check whether Bodleian Libraries provides access to a particular journal, search for the name of the journal in SOLO, then sort & filter results by Resource Type > Journals.

You can also use BrowZine (coverage from 2005 onwards).

If you want to find journals relevant to your subject area you can use:

  • Subject guides written by Bodleian Libraries subject specialists
  • Databases A-Z which groups databases (many of them collections of journals) by subject. Use Database Type: Abstracts/Indexes
  • BrowZine which is integrated into SOLO but can also be used as an app and web plugin

To look up a specific article using the bibliographic details, copy & paste the citation into SOLO. If the article you want does not appear then try to simplify the citation details in your SOLO search removing punctuation and numbers. Then search again. Note that SOLO only indexes article titles if we subscribe to an online version of a journal and the publisher provides suitable metadata. You could also try searching for the journal title, then navigate to the relevant volume to locate it or get a scan.

What is Google Scholar?

Google Scholar provides a very similar service to SOLO's Articles search and much of the content is the same. The Bodleian Libraries subscribe to the Primo Central Index which is a curated service bringing together content from many publishers and databases. Google Scholar gathers its content from many of the same publishers in an automated way using search algorithms.. The Bodleian Libraries also supplement the index with additional local content (e.g. online articles received via legal deposit, items from the Oxford Research Archive) to create SOLO's Article search.

Google Scholar - search tips

If you are on a library computer or using the University's VPN you will notice that some results show a FindIt@Oxford link on the right where you also often see links to open access versions of the paper.

This is because the Bodleian Libraries have shared information about our subscriptions with Google in order to make your access easier. To ensure you see the FindIt@Oxford links wherever you are, sign in to Google and set up the University of Oxford in your Library Links within Settings.