Using e-journals - Birkbeck College

Birkbeck Library
A demonstration of Birkbeck
Library’s e-resources
• Why are electronic resources important?
• An overview of the eLibrary
• What are ejournals and how do you use them?
• Databases: why and how?
• How do you find and access ebooks?
• Access to e-resources from outside College
Why are electronic resources important?
Why are electronic resources important?
• Accessible without coming into the Library
• Accessible 24 hours a day
• Remote access using your IT services username
and password
• Remember: the Library is more than its physical
holdings eg. larger number of electronic
journals than print journals
An overview of the eLibrary
An overview of the eLibrary
• Access and read over 35,000 electronic
journal and newspaper titles
• Search over 90 research databases to find
out what has been published in your
subject area
• Look at past exam papers from 2002
What are ejournals?
Ejournals are online versions of print journals
‘Magazines’ with academic content
Usually published monthly or quarterly
Contain current research – usually primary
• Useful for getting a range of different
opinions about a subject
Understanding a journal reference
Article title
Windsor, D. (2006). “Corporate social
responsibility: three key approaches”.
Journal of Management Studies.
43 (1): 93-114.
Journal name
Issue numbers
Finding a specific article in an ejournal
• Make a note of the name of the journal
• Go to the Library web site and select eLibrary
• Type the name of the journal in the ejournal
search box
• If the Library subscribes, a link to the ejournal
will appear
• Select the year, volume and then issue that
you require
• Ejournals are also listed on the library catalogue
Didn’t find the article?
• Make sure you entered the name of the
journal, not the article title
• E.g. Novak, S. (2008) “How does outsourcing
affect performance dynamics?” Management
Science. 54 (12): 1963-1979.
Didn’t find the article?
• Make sure the date of your article falls within
the date range for the link you have selected
• E.g. Novak, S. (2008) “How Does Outsourcing
Affect Performance Dynamics?” Management
Science. Vol. 54 (12): 1963-1979.
Didn’t find the article?
• If you have checked the title and date and still
get a ‘no results message’, Birkbeck Library
does not subscribe to the journal you require
• Contact the Help Desk about print journals,
using other libraries or interlibrary loans
What are databases?
Online tools to help you research your topic
Many cover a specific subject, e.g. history
Others are multidisciplinary
Some contain the full text of journals,
magazines and newspapers
• Others are index and abstract services but
may link to the full-text if the Library has a
subscription to the journal
Why use databases?
• If you don’t have a reading list or want to
read further, you won’t necessarily know
which ejournals to use
• You can type in a keyword or keywords to
see what has been published in your subject
• Helps you to identify relevant readings
What is wrong with just using Google?
• Anyone can publish information on the web
• No editorial control or third party reviews
• Is the information an appropriate level for
academic study?
• How can you tell if the information is
• How do you cope with the amount of results?
Which database is best for my subject?
• Go to the Subject Guides at
to see lists of resources that are best for
your subject
• There is a guide for all of the main subjects
taught at Birkbeck
• You can access the databases from these
pages or from an A-Z list at
is best
Which database
is best
for for
my my
Search tips…
• All databases have different interfaces but
the same search principles apply
• Don’t just type in a string of words or an
entire essay title
• Think about your search terms carefully
before you start searching
• What is the key information that you are
looking for?
Search tips…
• Consider alternative terms for the same
• Use truncation for variant spellings
E.g. stress* will find stress, stresses, stressors,
stressed, stressful
• Search for exact phrases using quotation
• Combine words / terms using Boolean
operators (AND, OR, NOT) to focus results
Search tips: Boolean operators
If term A is ‘art’ and term B is ‘Renaissance’,
this search is more likely to find articles
about ‘Renaissance art’
Search tips: Boolean operators
If term A is ‘human resource management’ and
term B is ‘personnel management’,
this search will find articles that contain
either term
Search tips: Boolean operators
If term A is ‘java’ and term B is ‘Indonesia’,
this search will exclude articles
about ‘Indonesia’
How do you find an ebook?
• A growing number of ebooks are available
• Find them via the Library catalogue
• You can also search whole databases of ebooks
• We won’t usually have access to all the ebooks
in a database
• You can usually print from ebooks but most
restrict the number of pages
Exam papers
Exam papers
Exam papers
• Exam papers are grouped by broad subject
e.g. biological sciences
• If your subject is not listed, check the
heading for your department
• Remember that some modules run
alternate years so there won’t be an
exam paper every year
Access from outside College
Accessing e-resources
You need an IT Services username/password
• To log on to computers inside College
• To access e-resources inside and outside
• You will be sent your ITS login when you enrol
• ITS Help Desk, ground floor, Malet Street:
- Tel: 020 7631 6543
- Email: [email protected]
Access e-resources from outside College
Register your computer by setting up a cookie
Necessary for access to some e-resources
One-off process
Lasts 18 months
Login in with your ITS username and
Setting up a cookie
Don’t forget print resources
Don’t forget about print resources!
• Books will still be an important part of your
study, especially in arts and humanities
• Most book content is not available
• Most ebooks restrict the number of pages you
can download and / or print
• Use the Library catalogue to find information
about books. Access via
Further help
Further help
Library web site:
LIFE – online Library induction tutorial
Visit, ring or email the Help desk:
[email protected]
020 7631 6063
Check your Subject Guide (online and in print)
Your Subject Librarian

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