E-resources FAQ


Library Search


What is Library Search?

Library Search is a new search facility which allows you to search all the Library's collections, including physical items (books, printed journals, audio-visual media, School Practice and Special Collections items) and a database containing millions of records for electronic journal articles, e-books, e-journals and reference articles - all at the same time. It has a simple Google-like search box, and you will retrieve authoritative, relevance-ranked results.

What is in Library Search and what is not?

Library Search includes:

  • The database of physical items on the shelves at Goldsmiths Library (the Library catalogue).
  • Hundreds of millions of records for journal articles, e-journals, news articles, conference proceedings, technical reports, and much more.
  • Most of the Library-purchased databases and online journals that you already use.


Library Search does not include:

  • Access to some databases purchased by the Library - for commercial reasons, not all databases allow searching in this way.

Some databases and journals allow full-text searching, others include only citation information (e.g., titles, author, abstract, etc.), but may be accessible from Library Search using the links to online resources.

What are the advantages of using Library Search?

It is a super-fast way of searching for electronic articles across many databases, using a single search box.

Library Search will initially show you resources that you have access to through Goldsmiths Library. However, if you choose to 'Include non full-text results', you will see many more relevant resources that we do not subscribe to, which you may find in other libraries' collections.

Do I need to sign in to use Library Search?

You don't need to sign in to perform a search. However, signing in to Library Search (using the barcode number on your Goldsmiths card and your Library PIN) will allow you to save your search history, bookmark favourite searches, and create lists of items which you can refer to later.

You do need to sign in to see your library account ('My Library Card'), renew your loans, view your borrowing history, and view any fines you may owe.

Can I access an article in Library Search off-campus?

If you are using Library Search off-campus, you will need to log in via Shibboleth to access the full text of a resource. Your log-in details are the same as your Goldsmiths IT log-in details, i.e., your Goldsmiths IT username and password.

Once you have found an article you wish to read, note if it says Full text available under the article summary. Click the 'Full text available' or 'Link to Online Resource' link to open a page showing you from where the article is available. It might be that the article is available from several databases. Click the database name to connect to the article.

How do I find a physical book in Library Search?

Use the drop-down menu on the search box to limit your search scope to Physical Items.

Alternatively, if you have searched 'Everything', you can use the options under 'Refine my results' on the right-hand side to filter your search results. Note that if you select 'Available in the Library' (under 'Availability'), only items which are currently available will be displayed, i.e. if an item is out on loan, it will not appear in the filtered list of search results. If you select 'Books and ebooks' under 'Resource Type', you will be able to see both physical items and electronic books which the Library owns.

How do I find a specific journal?

To find a specific journal, enter the journal title (N.B. not the title of the article).

If the Library doesn't own the item you are looking for, check Senate House's electronic resources. If you are registered at Senate House, you can use their e-resources remotely. If not, we may be able to request a copy from another library for you.

What is the best way to search my subject?

Please see the LibGuides prepared by our specialist librarians.

Library Search gives too many results. How do I limit the number of results?

Advanced Search

Use the 'advanced search' option to narrow your search. You can use the drop-down lists to limit your keyword search to a title, an author's name, a language or a publication date.


Refine My Results

ou can further refine your results by using the 'Refine My Results' options on the right-hand side. You can selectively view applicable, or remove non-applicable search facets. (NB. If your number of search results becomes too few, click on the 'x' under 'Active filters' at the top of the right-hand side to remove the limit.


Phrase Searching

You can also use 'phrase searching' if you are searching for items that contain a specific combination of words. You would do this by enclosing the phrase in quotation marks, e.g., "Global Warming".

Does Library Search search everything in a specific research database?

Library Search's vendor, ExLibris, works directly with publishers to obtain permission to index specific journals, newspapers and other serials. Publication data can come from any number of places: direct from the publisher, or from an intermediate database.

For this reason, we don't know exactly what the overlap is between Article Search+ content and the content found in specialized research databases. In some cases it might be close to 100%, in others, 50-75%

Can you help me understand why an item was returned in my search results?

Library Search includes article citation information as well as full-text information. It may be that the search term is matching somewhere in the full text.


What are e-resources?

E-resources are information resources which are available in electronic form. They include electronic books, electronic journals, databases of various types and websites. E-books and journals are available from the Library catalogue, and indexing and abstracting services are available from the e-resources web page.

How can I access e-resources if I'm on campus?

If you are on site using a computer running on the Goldsmiths network your access to resources will usually be automatically authenticated and you should not need to enter a password. However there are a small number of cases where you will need to enter a password even if you are on-site. The Accompline database needs a different password, ask at the enquiry desk.

Can I access e-resources from home?

Yes and no! Many of the electronic resources which you are entitled to access are available to off-campus users; in most cases to do this use your Goldsmiths IT username and password. However, some resources are restricted by the terms of their licence to on campus use only.

What is the difference between an electronic book or journal, and abstracts and indexes?

ebook full text of a book delivered electronically
ejournal full text journal articles delivered electronically
index finding tool to locate journal articles and chapters in books on your subject. Will show you the bibliographic data (author, title of article, title of journal the article is contained in, volume, year etc)
NB - it does not give you the full text of the article merely the means to find it.
abstract similar to index (see above) but will also include an abstract of the article.
NB - it does not give you the full text of the article merely the means to find it.

How can I gain access to e-resources that are at Senate House?

If you are a member of staff, or an undergraduate or postgraduate student you are entitled to join Senate House Library. Once you have registered at Senate House you may access most of their e-resources remotely - check out their e-resources web pages. Remember to use your name and Senate House barcode number.

I use Google to find stuff on the Web. Why do I need to use the Library's e-resources?

The Library pays for a wide range of electronic resources which are not freely available to you otherwise. These are quality resources - often peer reviewed. Can be trusted and cited.

Can I access e-resources from abroad?

This depends on the individual supplier, for example Ingenta does allow access but other databases do not. Our advice would be to try it out and let us know if you cannot access a particular resource.

Are there any copyright restrictions on the use of electronic resources?

Yes. You must respect the law of copyright and licences which the University has signed with the relevant publisher or information provider. You must not:

  • download a substantial part of a database or the entire contents of a publication (this includes an entire journal issue)
  • make multiple copies of items that have been printed out or downloaded
  • distribute copies to others
  • remove any proprietary marking or copyright statement from any copy made
  • use electronic resources for commercial purposes

Why can't I access e-resources from most of the catalogues in the Library?

We want to provide as many walk-up catalogues as possible which do not require you to login - that means you can start searching immediately. You cannot access e-resources from these walk-up catalogues. You can use any of the networked pcs and macs in the IT services part of the building or indeed from your own computer provided they have an internet connection.

Why do I need a password to e-resources if I'm on campus?

We will always try and provide direct access however some database providers insist their own passwords are used for extra security.

Can I use e-resources if I'm not a member of Goldsmiths?

No, our licence agreements with e-resource publishers do not allow us to grant access to anyone other than Goldsmiths members. If you are a member of another library, we suggest you check with them if they subscribe to the resource you would like to access.

Electronic journals

What are electronic journals?

E-journals are periodicals, serials, journals or regularly published sets of scholarly research papers, which are available online. Journals are usually available both in printed and electronic format, but occasionally they are available only electronically. E-journals may be referred to as 'online', 'electronic', 'on the internet' or 'on the web'.

How do I find out if the library has an e-journal?

  • To find out whether we subscribe to a e-journal, and to access it, use the Library catalogue.
  • To search the catalogue, choose 'search' and select the field to search: 'Periodical title'.
  • In the Results List, click on the underlined number in the left-hand column to display the full bibliographic record, which includes a link to the publisher/intermediary website, and details about whether a username and password is required.
  • You can also choose 'Browse A-Z lists' with the field 'Periodical title'.
  • To see the start volume and year, click on 'Holdings'.
  • There is more detailed help available on searching the catalogue for e-journals; also on the library catalogue itself click the 'help' button on the top of the search screen.

How do I access e-journals?

  1. Find the journal on the library catalogue. (See How do I search for e-journals on the catalogue?)
  2. Check that we hold the dates that you want.
  3. Follow the links.

Will I need a password for e-journals?

If you are on campus, you normally do not need a password, because the resource is likely to be IP verified. If you want to use e-resources from home, you will need your campus username and password. From the login page, you need to identify your location (UK) and your institution (Goldsmiths, University of London) to get to a login page where you can then enter your campus username and password (e.g. css01ff).

Only recent issues seem to be available, why can't I get older stuff?

Most publishers only started to produce e-journals in the mid-90s, and some only started in the last couple of years. Check out JSTOR and the Oxford University Press Archive for older material. Also note that our licence may only permit access to recent years, e.g. Science Direct 1997-.

I've found an e-journal on the library catalogue but I can't access the full text - why?

  • Check the date of the journal article.
  • The Library's subscriptions are usually restricted to a particular date range. The print version and electronic version may have different dates. Check the Library catalogue for the dates available.
  • The journal might be restricted to use in College.
  • You can check this by searching for the title of the journal on the catalogue, then clicking on the underlined number in the left-hand column to display the full bibliographical record, which includes a link to the publisher/intermediary website, and details about whether a username and password is required.
  • Check you are using the correct password.

Why is there more than one link to some journals in the catalogue?

This happens for various reasons including:

  • The journal may come as part of a bundle from more than one host service intermediary, and both will therefore be listed.
  • The journal may be available from the publisher and a host service intermediary.
  • The title has changed publisher. It may be that the new publisher provides access to the current content while the previous publisher continues to provide access to the other content.
  • Different coverage is available from different sources. Many publications have older issues available through services such as JSTOR for example, while current content is hosted by the publishers own site.

How do I search for e-journals on the catalogue?

How do I search if I only know the first few words in the title of an electronic journal?

  • From the Library catalogue main search screen
  • Choose 'Browse AZ lists' button at the top of the screen
  • Select index to browse: Periodical titles
  • Type in the first few words of the title
  • Hint if a '2' appears next to the title there is generally an electronic *and* paper version of the journal

How do I search if I only know some words in the journal title?

  • From the Library catalogue main search screen
  • Go to the 'Journals' section at the top of the screen
  • Type in a few words from the title
  • Choose the 'Filter' option
  • Select 'electronic journals' from the list

I know the journal's ISSN, can I search using this number?

  • Yes. Use the main search screen, and select 'ISSN' from the 'Field to search' drop down box.
  • You must type in the hyphen in the ISSN.

How do I search for electronic journal articles by subject?

  • To identify journal titles in your subject use the 'Journals' section at the top of the main search screen and then type in your subject. 
    This will list both electronic and hard copy journals, you can then filter for ejournals only.
  • To search for journal articles by subject you will need to use an on-line bibliographic abstract or index.

I'd like to browse the Library's ejournal collection, rather than searching for something specific, can I do this electronically?

  • From the Library catalogue main search screen
  • Type in PEREJ
  • This lists all of our electronic journals

What is a moving wall?

At Goldsmiths you may see this term in relation to the JSTOR collections. They provide electronic access to each journal from the first volume to a "moving wall" 2 to 5 years behind the most recently published hard copy issue. The moving wall refers to complete years only and the current, incomplete year is not counted.

For example;

Ethnomusicology is available through JSTOR and has a moving wall of 4 years. This means that in 2006, issues published up to the end of 2002 will be available through JSTOR. Remember, 2007 is the current, incomplete year and therefore is not included in the calculation. 2003 issues should become available from 1st January 2008.

Why can't I access all journals electronically?

We are unable to subscribe to all e-resources, just as we can't subscribe to all printed journals.

Some journals are not available electronically.

How can I access newspapers online?

Try searching Proquest which has full text content of UK broadsheets. Please note that this service is only available on campus.

See also Newspapers.

What are the differences between printed and electronic journals?

  • There may be differences in content, appearance and presentation.
  • Some articles may not be available on-line.
  • The electronic version may have added value features such as links to other articles.
  • Most e-journals are delivered in PDF (Portable Display Format) which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader software to be installed on the computer. This enables the article to appear the same as the printed version including graphics etc.
  • Some are also available in HTML format which appears as a normal web page. Advantages being - extra links to related materials can be added, it loads more quickly than Adobe, and does not need to be installed.
  • Often the electronic version will be loaded and available before the printed version is received.

Why have both electronic and print versions?

  • Many publishers insist we continue to subscribe to the print version in order to access the electronic version.
  • A print version is ours to keep as an archive. Many e-resources are no longer available if a subscription is later cancelled. Some are only available on a rolling basis.
  • Some users prefer print.

Electronic books and bibliographic databases

How do I get information on e-books?

Please see the E-books LibGuide.

What is a bibliographic database?

A bibliographic database allows the user to identify publications by author, subject, title, or other search terms. It generally provides at least a full citation to the item, and often other information such as abstracts and subject headings.

NB: it does not give you the full text of the article merely the means to find it.

How do I find out what databases are available for my subject?

You can find out which databases are recommended for your subject from our LibGuides, or:

  • On the Library catalogue choose the button 'other categories' on the top right of the search screen.
  • Select the category of stock you wish to search from this list: online databases.
  • Type in your subject, e.g., sociology.
  • This will list all databases that cover your subject.

E-resources password

How do I get an e-resources password?

  • Students: collect your Goldsmiths username and password during enrolment and from the IT Service Desk in the Rutherford Building thereafter.
  • Continuing students: if you have forgotten your details, go to the IT Service Desk in the Rutherford Building.
  • Staff: register at the IT Service Desk in the Rutherford Building.

How do I check that my e-resources password is correct?

Your e-resources password is your Goldsmiths IT username and password. One way to check it is working is to try and access your webmail.

If there is a problem contact the IT Service Desk in the Rutherford Building.

What do I do if I have forgotten my e-resources password?

If you have forgotten your Goldsmiths username or password contact the IT Service Desk in the Rutherford Building.

What do I do if my e-resources account expires?

Goldsmiths IT usernames and passwords are valid for the period of your course/contract plus 3 months.

If in doubt please contact the IT Service Desk in the Rutherford Building with your details and proof of your new expiry date.

Can I use the e-resources password to access all the e-resources subscribed to by the Library?

Most but not all. A few publishers use their own passwords for authentication purposes, for example the Index to Theses. If this is the case go to the enquiry desk and ask for the relevant passwords.


Why are electronic resources not working properly on my PC at home?

Possible solutions are:-

  1. Many of our electronic resources require your computer to accept cookies. Therefore check that your browser security settings are not set too high. Instructions are as follows:

    Internet Explorer: 
    Top browser bar
    Click 'Tools > Internet Options'
    Click on the 'Privacy' tag
    Set to 'Medium'
    Click 'Apply'

    Top browser bar
    Click 'Tools > Options'
    Click on the 'Privacy' tag
    Click 'Cookies'
    Click 'Allow sites to set cookies'
  2. Some sites require that you turn off pop-up blocking software to use all their feature:

    Internet Explorer: 
    Top browser bar
    Click 'Tools > Internet Options'
    Click on the 'Privacy' tag
    Uncheck the 'Turn on Pop-up blocker' box

    Top browser bar
    Click 'Tools > Options'
    Click on 'Content'
    Uncheck the 'Block popup windows'
  3. If you are having problems opening PDFs try holding down the key on your keyboard when you click the PDF link.
  4. Another possibility is that the Firewall software on your PC is blocking the sites. Do the following at your own risk: switch off the Firewall temporarily and see if this solves the problem. If it does, then you may find that at some time you instructed your Firewall "not to allow content from that site". Go into your firewall settings, find the URL of the database(s) concerned and set it to allow.


Yes, but I've done all that and I'm still having problems. What next?

We will try to help but cannot guarantee to solve problems related to home computing installations. The multiplicity of ISPs, computer configurations, personal and network firewalls, modems, routers etc means that sometimes a solution is out of our control.

Please let us know if you discover a problem as we may be able to help you if the problem is related to passwords or broken links to the resource. The more details you can provide the better. Please email us at library@gold.ac.uk

Can I print articles?

PDF text can be printed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Use either the printer icon or the menu bar option to select this facility. HTML files can be printed via your Web browser by choosing Print (listed under the File menu bar option). Copyright legislation applies. If PDF files do not print, try saving the file to disk first, then the print function should work.

Can I download articles?

PDF text can be downloaded using the Adobe Acrobat Reader software. Use either the floppy disk icon or the menu bar option to select this facility. HTML files can be downloaded via your web browser by choosing 'Save as' (listed under the 'File' menu bar option) in either the html or text formats. Copyright legislation applies. If PDF files do not save or email properly, try saving the file to disk first.

Can I email articles from the databases?

Yes. Most of the databases will allow you to email articles. You can send the articles to your email address from the library and print them later.

Can I use my laptop in the Library?

Yes, you can use your laptop in the Library in specific laptop friendly areas. However if you want to plug it in to the mains you must use one of the designated white computer sockets labeled 'for laptop users'.

Can I connect my laptop to the College network in the Library?

Yes. In the library you may connect via eduroam, the Goldsmiths campus Wi-Fi network.

  • You cannot plug a laptop into just any network socket.
  • If you are working in the Library you can connect your laptop to the mains only using the sockets at desks marked 'For laptop users'.

See IT Services for full details.