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The Library exists to support research in all disciplines.

This guide is intended to give useful general information for all researchers.

For information in your subject area, see Research Support for your Subject.

For the latest news for researchers, see the Library's Research Blog

  • Research and Impact at Ulster University
  • Getting Started with Library Resources

    Library Subject Teams organise induction sessions and 'Effective Use of the Library' workshops for new doctoral students, as well as other useful courses throughout the year. If you miss the sessions at the beginning of the academic year, or need a refresher, we can arrange a session for you.

    Please contact your Subject Librarian for more information.

    The Student Portal is the gateway to the range of library resources, including the library catalogue, electronic databases, electronic journals and subject guides.

    To login you will require your Student ID and Network Password. Library electronic resources can be found on the Library & ICT tab.

    You can also access Library resources from the Library Home Page.

    Access most of our electronic resources from anywhere at any time via OpenAthens authentication. Find out more about accessing electronic resources with our Passwords Guide.

  • Getting Started - Useful Books on Research
  • Research Support for your Subject
  • Research Methods

    Find out more about planning your research, finding and managing information, and much more at our Researchers at Ulster Guide

  • Document Delivery

    Requests should be made online using the Document Delivery Request form where you will be prompted to login with your University ID and network password (this is the same as your Portal / Blackboard Learn login details).

    Please note, books must be collected from the Library and journal article requests are sent to the requestor via Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) to their institutional email address.

    If you have fines or overdue Library material your request may not be processed.

    'Completing the Online Document Delivery form' guide is available.

    For more information on the Document Delivery service, including receiving your journal article requests electronically using Secure Electronic Delivery (SED) and British Library's EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service) please see the main Document Delivery page.

  • Access to other Libraries

    SCONUL Access

    SCONUL Access is a co-operative venture between most of the higher education libraries of the UK and Ireland.

    It enables staff and eligible students to have access to and borrow material from other libraries.

    For further information please click on SCONUL Access.

    Access relationships

    Check our Borrowing and Access Schemes page for information about all of our access relationships.

    The British Library

    The British Library allows access to their London Reading Rooms for researchers.

    The Library's collection of over 160 million items includes books, maps, patents, manuscripts and newspapers.

    To gain access to the Reading Rooms it is necessary to apply for a Readers Pass.

    Letter of Introduction

    Many colleges and universities have external membership schemes for students who have no connection with that particular institution. If an institution has collections of particular interest to your research, it is worth contacting them to find out their admissions criteria.  The Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Subject Librarian can provide you with a letter of introduction to support your request for admittance to other university libraries, though we cannot guarantee that this will be granted. To obtain a letter of introduction you must be in good standing with Ulster University Library and have no overdue books or outstanding fines.

    Other Library Catalogues

    The COPAC library catalogue gives free access to the merged online catalogues of many major University, Specialist and National libraries in the UK and Ireland.

  • Managing Information

    RefWorks is an information management tool that enables you to

    • Import and organise your references
    • Link to Word to automatically format your paper and bibliography

    Introductory classes on RefWorks will be given on each campus. Check the Library homepage for details of the latest classes. Visit the RefWorks Library Guide for further help.


    A useful guide to referencing is Pears, R. and Shields, G.J. (2016) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 10th ed. revised and expanded. ed. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan

  • Library Travel Fund

    The Library Travel Fund is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students to receive financial support to visit other libraries, archives and information centres.

    The award is intended to cover the cost of the cheapest form of transport between Ulster University and the location being visited. Travel is normally restricted to within the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland due to financial constraints. Accommodation and subsistence costs are not met from these funds.

    For further information and application forms for both funds, please click on Library Travel Fund.

  • Intellectual Property Issues


    The Copyright Designs and Patents Act does allow copying of copyright materials under certain circumstances.

    The amount of a published work which may be photocopied is generally interpreted as:

    • no more than one chapter of a book
    • no more than one article of a journal issue
    • no more than one single case report from a law report
    • no more than 5% of a given work, whichever is greater

    Copying must be for the purposes of non-commercial research or private study, which is why, if we make or obtain a photocopy for you, we ask you to sign a copyright declaration that you require the copy for this purpose.

    Below are useful Web sites on copyright should you require further information.


    Plagiarism is an issue taken very seriously by all academic institutions. There is much information on plagiarism and how to avoid it. Check the Turnitin UK website for more information.

  • Current Awareness

    Below is a list of suggestions on how you can keep up to date in your area of interest.


    One of the most effective ways to keep up to date in journal literature is to save and re-run searches on the most relevant databases for your subject.

    Many databases provide an email alerting service.

    To find the best databases for your subject and how to set up their alerting services check your subject in the Library Subject Guides. Scopus and Web of Science provide excellent alerting services, as well as an opportunity to save and re-run searches.

    Journal Alerting Services

    Zetoc Alert is a table of contents alerting service which will email you the contents pages of your chosen journals every time a new issue is loaded into the database. It is updated daily so you may be emailed within 72 hours of publication.

    JournalTOCS is a journal alerting service from JISC

    Cited Reference Searching

    Identify articles which cite an original piece of published research.

    Keep up-to-date with cited referencing in Scopus and Web of Science.


    There is a Conference Alerts service which includes a searchable database of forthcoming academic conferences and a free alerting service.

    For details see the CONAL Conference Alerts site.

    Research Discussion Lists

    Electronic discussion lists are a valuable way for researchers and academics to share information and ideas by e-mail or via the Web.

    Below is a selection of some of the most popular discussion lists.

    • JISCMAIL is the major electronic mailing list for the UK higher education community. The search headings include people and subjects.
    • CataList is a catalogue of LISTSERV internet discussion lists with access to over 47,000 lists.


    Use the Index to Theses to search for theses published in the UK and Ireland.

    EThOS is a British Library service whereby theses are made available in digital form. Downloading full text theses directly from EThOS requires free registration.

    Limit your search to full text theses by ticking the 'Limit search to items available for immediate download' box on the search screen.


    Many publishers will send you regular emails or RSS feeds to alert you to new books.

    Some online booksellers provide an alerting service which emails you details of new books in a specified field.

    Amazon offers a free a "notification preference" though you will need to register.

  • Useful Websites For Research

    Government web sites

    A very valuable source of information.

    All government departments have web sites and many give access to official publications, guidelines and statistics.

    Many official publications are only available online.

    Research Organisations

    Search engines

    Google Scholar Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web.

    Check our Google Scholar guide for more information.

    Bibliometrics and Citation Analysis

    Subject Librarians will be able to help you obtain information on journal metrics, where to publish, how to improve citations, and how to manage your research profile.

    See the Library guide for Bibliometrics and Citation Analysis for more information.