FOR HELP WITH ELECTRONIC RESOURCES

Jenny Blackhurst
Librarian

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t. 01223 338970

eGuide: Beyond books - finding electronic articles and journals

Getting started

You can search for electronic resources (along with printed books) on iDiscover. How you search will depend on whether you are looking for a specific article or browsing within a certain subject/topic area.

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 Searching for a specific journal article

If there is a specific article you have been told to find, it is quick and easy:

  • Go to iDiscover
  • Enter the article title into the search box (if you know the specific title, you can enclose the title in “speech marks” for a more accurate result)
  • Click on full-text available to take you to the journal article


If you can’t find the article you may need to refine the results (see iDiscover eGuide for more information). Alternatively, ask Library staff for help.

You can also search for the articles by searching through the relevant journal. Links to Cambridge’s electronic journal subscriptions can be found via LibGuides.

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Browsing for articles on a specific topic using iDiscover

If you haven't been given a reading list, how do you look for articles? You will need to use bibliographic databases. The simplest way to search multiple bibliographical resources in one go is to use iDiscover:

  • Search for a phrase: put the phrase in inverted commas, e.g. "donatist schism"
  • To expand your search or make it more precise: use OR or NOT, e.g. weather OR climate
  • For wildcards, use ? to replace one character, e.g. wom?n to find woman and women, or * to replace multiple characters, e.g. volcan* to find volcano, volcanoes, volcanic, volcanism, etc.


Search results are provided in a list. You can sort them by relevance or date of publication. You can refine them by type (e.g. book, journal article, newspaper article) or limit them to find just items with full-text online. If full-text is available online, you can link straight to it. If not, you can link to library catalogues to find out which libraries hold a hard-copy.

More information on refining search results can be found in the iDiscover eguide.

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Searching databases

It might also be useful to search specific databases (the University of Cambridge subscribes to over 600 databases). You can find a full list of the eresources available in LibGuides. Refine by subject area to identify the most relevant resources.

  • Web of science
  • Zetoc
  • FirstSearch

Web of Science

Sometimes known as the Web of Knowledge, and particularly useful because can see the number of times the article has been cited in other works.

  1. Go to webofknowledge.com. You will be asked to enter your UIS or Raven password.
  2. The first search screen allows you to search all databases, including MEDLINE, limiting the search by date. To select a specific database - useful if you are researching an arts or humanities topic - go to the Select a database tab.
  3. To search: enter one or more search terms in the boxes provided. You can truncate using * (e.g. ROBOT* will find records containing ROBOT, ROBOTS, ROBOTIC, ROBOTICS, etc.) or use ? to replace a single letter (e.g. WOM?N will find records containing both WOMEN and WOMAN). Then click search.
  4. To see your results: you should see a list of results. Click on the blue links to see more information.
  5. If the full text is available via Web of Knowledge, there will be a link to it. Or click the @cam button to see local search results in the ejournals@cambridge listing.
  6. To save, print, or email the results to yourself: click the tickboxes next to the results in which you are interested or use the buttons at the top of each record to create a list of the items which you want to print or email to yourself.
  7. When you have finished, don't forget to logout.

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ZETOC

Zetoc provides access to the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents of over 28,500 current journals plus conference proceedings.

  1. Go to zetoc.mimas.ac.uk/ and click zetoc search from the list on the left.
  2. Select general search.
  3. Enter one or more search terms into the boxes provided. You can truncate using * (e.g. ROBOT* will find records containing ROBOT, ROBOTS, ROBOTIC, ROBOTICS, etc.). Then click search.
  4. To see your results: you should now see a numbered list of results. Click on the number next to an item to see more information. Use the next and previous buttons to go forwards and backwards through the list.
  5. Click @cam – find full text to get a link to esresources@cambridge and from there to the full text, if available.
  6. To email the results to yourself: Click the tickboxes next to the results in which you are interested, then click email records and input your email address in the box provided.
  7. Click new search to start another search. There is no need to log-off when you have finished using the database.

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FirstSearch

This collection of databases is provided by OCLC (Online Computer Library Centre, Inc.). It includes WorldCat, the OCLC Union Catalogue containing catalogue records contributed by libraries around the world.

  1. Go to newfirstsearch.uk.oclc.org/; you should not need a username or password if you are connecting from within the University, otherwise, a UIS or Raven password is required.
  2. Click list all databases on the blue horizontal bar to see a list of 21 databases; select up to three of these by clicking on the tickboxes next to the names. Then click select.
  3. To search: fill in the basic search box with keywords or an author's name or words from a book/article title. You can truncate using * (e.g. ROBOT* will find records containing ROBOT, ROBOTS, ROBOTIC, ROBOTICS, etc.). Then click search. If you want to do a more complex search, perhaps combining author and keywords, click on advanced searching on the blue horizontal bar, fill in the boxes and click search.
  4. To see your results: you should see a numbered list of results. Click on the blue links to see more information about a title. Use the next and prev buttons to go forwards and backwards through the list.
  5. To print or email the results to yourself: mark the records in which you are interested by clicking the tickbox, then click the E-mail bib or print buttons. Make sure you specify whether you want marked records or just the ones you were looking at last.
  6. Finally, use the links on the blue horizontal bar to start another search or click exit to logout from FirstSearch.

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Open Access

If an article you need is not included in the university’s journal subscriptions it is possible you may be able to access the article via open access. Open access refers to research that is freely available online at the point of use. It can include journal articles and conference proceedings but sometimes also monographs.

Cambridge University's repository is called Apollo. Materials in Apollo can also be searched through iDiscover.

To search for other open access material follow the links in this OpenAccess LibGuide (Staffordshire University) and Find Open Access Material (Robert Gordon University).

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Useful resources

Understanding your reading list (University of Leeds)
Developing your search strategy (University of Leeds)
LibGuides (University of Cambridge's subject, reference, and general purpose guides)

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Help within College

Library staff can help you develop your search techniques and help you find items. During Full Term, drop-in sessions are regularly scheduled for Wednesday afternoons (14.30-16.30). You can also book an appointment with Library staff or ask a question via JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING . Alternatively, ask questions via LibAnswers.

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© Girton College Library
Last updated: September 2017 by Kasia Drabek