Answered By: E-library Team
Last Updated: 17 Aug, 2022     Views: 15

What are online resources?

As well as the many physical resources, books, journals and DVDs etc, available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books. Access to these resources has been bought by the Library through subscription and is limited to current staff and students.

Access is dependent on authentication based on your Brunel University network username and password. You should always use the Library's website as your starting point as you will not gain access automatically off campus.

You can find answers to basic frequently asked questions below, however we also recommend that you visit our FAQ portal, LibAnswers, which contains more detailed questions and answers.

For subject specific guidance, you may need to contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for support.

How do I log in?

Logging on via the Library home page

On the Library home page choose the "Access resources off-campus" link at the top left of the page. Type in your Brunel University network username and password (i.e.: the same credentials as for Brunel Sign In).

Contact or visit the IT Support Desk in the Bannerman building if you need help with your Brunel network username and password, or register for the Brunel Network Account Management Password Self Service (use the fourth button on your first visit, use one of the three  other options on subsequent visits).

Resources that require a separate password

Some resources are not compatible with Brunel Sign In and require a separate username and password. There are links to our password list for all such databases and journals on the relevant database and e-journal pages. The full list of passwords can also be seen on our "Password protected resources" page. To access the password page you will need to log on to the University Intranet using your network username and password (as above).

For off-campus access, most of our links will give you access to the resources. You may also use Library Search, our single search software. You should not need to use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) but this is still available. For more information on how to download the AnyConnect VPN Universal application and install it on your personal computer, visit the Brunel Connect Portal and select the 'Connect To' tab.

Alternative access to resources

You may search across several resources at the same time using Library Search, our single search software, which is accessible from the search box on the Library home page. Follow the instructions above for logging on. If you find you cannot connect to an electronic resource please try our "Alternative" links - just look below the description for each database on our Databases A-Z web pages 

There may also be access to freely available or Open Access items - you may check via Brunel's special Google Scholar link

How do I use online resources off campus?

We recommend that you use the "Access resources of-campus" link on the Library home page (described above). Then use the links the Library provides for e-journals, e-books or databases. You should not need to log in again unless your session is inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Note: if you do not use Brunel Sign In first and you access resources directly, or via a search engine such as Google, you will need to click on a sign in link on the publisher's website and search for a link to Brunel Sign In - hint: look for “Brunel University” on the site - if you cannot see your home institution then you will probably need to sign in. Each resource may use different text to describe this process - for example: Sign in, Login, Institutional login, Academic login, Shibboleth, UK Access Management Federation, etc. This link may be on the same web page or you may need to click on a link to get more options. NB: Except for a few NHS-commissioned Health Sciences courses, Brunel does not use the OpenAthens Access Management System - so do not try to connect via this service.

Google Scholar users should edit their preference and select Brunel University as their home institution - for details of how to do this, see this LibAnswer FAQ.

What online resources can I access?

The link "Access resources off-campus" on the Library homepage provides access to the e-journals, e-books, and databases.

Library Search - searches simultaneously across books, journals, journal articles. This can be a good starting point when deciding which resource to search on.
e-Books - most e-books are also indexed on the Library Catalogue, marked as [electronic resource]. When the catalogue opens, change the selection next to the Home icon Catalogue Home icon or button from searching "Everything" to "E-books"...

Catalogue search drop-down menu - select E-books
e-Journals - access to full text journal titles to which the Library subscribes (check the dates carefully, we may not subscribe to the year you need!)
Databases - search across collections of journal articles, electronic books and other material. The A-Z list of Databases is useful when you know which resource you want to use. Otherwise it is recommended that you contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for assistance.

Are the resources free?

You should not need to pay to access any of the resources because the Library has already paid a subscription. This means that they are free to staff and students at the point of use, after you have logged in as with your Brunel credentials. Look for the Brunel University logo and/or a text banner: "Brought to you by Brunel University" on the provider's web site to verify that you are logged on.

If you think you should have access but you are not authorised to view the full text article, send an email to the Library's E-resources team, along with the full reference to the journal article or book and we will advise you if we hold a subscription or not.

I'm having problems accessing resources

You may occasionally encounter problems with access to resources. This could be because:

  • There are temporary problems with the university computer network - you can check at the IT Support Desk. Try again later following the "How do I log in?" section.
  • There may be a problem with an individual resource, eg: it is down for maintenance. Consult the Databases web page for an alternative link or check the Brunel Library Twitter account as we will post updates where a site is experiencing problems.
  • There may be a problem with Brunel's online subscription - contact the Library for help.
  • There may be a problem with your University network account. If you followed the procedures in the "How do I log in?" section above and you were unable to sign in you may use the Password Portal to reset your password. If that doesn't work, you may need to contact or visit the IT Support Desk in the Bannerman building for further assistance.
  • You are off campus - to gain access you may try to find an institutional login link to login via the UK Federation (the link may be called: Login, Institutional login, Academic login, Shibboleth, UK Access Management Federation, etc, etc.)
    Our entity is: "Brunel University" - please note: except for a few NHS-commissioned Health Sciences courses, Brunel does not use the OpenAthens Access Management System so do not try to connect via this service.
  • Your browser settings are blocking access...
    Check your browser's settings:
    - is it enabled to accept cookies? - are you using privacy mode which may mean you have to log in repeatedly?
    - is the pop-up blocker setting preventing a pop-up from opening?
    - Do you have a toolbar which may block access, for example the Yahoo toolbar?
  • Still no access? We recommend that you try using a different browser:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari

What do I do if I cannot find what I need through online resources?

First, check the Library catalogue to find out if what you need is available in print. The Library will normally try to get hold of material recommended on your reading lists. If you are an undergraduate, the Library will hold most, if not all, of the material you need to consult.

If you are a postgraduate or researcher, you may want to make use of resources we do not have in stock. In this instance, you may wish to:

Copyright information

You have access to several copyright resources through Brunel's Online Library collection and your use is governed by copyright law and licensing regulations and by additional terms and conditions set by the copyright owners or their agents. You must ensure that your use complies with these as well as the Brunel Acceptable Computer Use Policy.

Use of resources is for your personal educational / research use only. Commercial use is prohibited. For information on permitted uses of copyright material for learning and teaching, see our copyright advice pages.

Copies printed, downloaded or stored may only be used for the purposes of private study or research unless otherwise authorised in the terms and conditions of use. You are required to check the terms and conditions of use each time you access any electronic resources. It is advisable to delete or destroy any copies made at the end of your course of study.

Copies may not be transferred, sold or otherwise distributed to any other users, except where explicitly authorised by the terms of use, licence, explicit permission from the rights owner or by an Act of Parliament.

The Brunel University network is monitored: your actions may be recorded and logged. Resource providers also monitor and log use of their resources. Fraudulent or unauthorised use of resources may lead to police investigation and subsequent civil or criminal proceedings. Users found to be in breach of licence agreements will be will be subject to appropriate Academic Appeals and Disciplinary Matters (refer to Senate Regulation 6) as detailed in the Library Code of Conduct and RulesBrunel Acceptable Computer Use Policy and University Rules, Regulations and Policies in the relevant Student Handbook.