British Standards Online (BSOL)

The University of Cambridge now has on campus access only to the British Standards Online (BSOL) resource at the following URL

Shibboleth access is to be implemented by the British Standards Institute for off campus authentication in the second or third quarter of 2018.  We are working on providing access via EZproxy in the interim.

Access is available via the Cambridge LibGuides Databases A-Z here

And records for the standards in BSOL will soon be available in iDiscover and updated weekly.  NB only on campus users will be able to link through to the standards from iDiscover records.

BSOL is an online library of over 90,000 internationally recognized standards with application to a wide range of subjects, from environmental management to IT security, from construction to food safety.


Confusing ‘Sign in’ option on Oxford University Press platforms

Databases on the new Oxford University Press platform show a ‘Sign in’ option below the ‘Cambridge University Library’ access label.

The appearance of the ‘Sign in’ option does not indicate that an additional sign in is required it is simply the new position of the sign in option for the database (previously this option would have appeared in the top right hand part of the screen). ‘Sign in’ will appear both on and off campus.

Once you have been directed to the database site from the databases A-Z you should see ‘Cambridge University Library’ on the left hand side of the screen. If you see this then you will be identified as a member of the university and will be able to use the resource. Simply enter a term into the search bar at the upper right hand side of the site and you be able to view complete results.

Look for a green open padlock in the results list as this will indicate that you are correctly logged in and can access the full text.

The databases allow you to save searches and results. To do this you will need to create an individual account for the platform and this will require you to use the additional sign in option.

Databases that have been updated with this feature include:

Oxford Music Online

Oxford Art Online

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Bibliographies

The New Oxford Shakespeare

If you have any problems accessing these databases then please email us:

MGG Online, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart

Access is now enabled to the encyclopedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, known in its electronic form as MGG Online.  Access on campus is via this link:

Off campus access is only available via the EZproxy server at this link:

A user choosing to access MGG Online off campus via Google, say, will not have access as MGG Online has not yet implemented Shibboleth.

A link to the encyclopedia can be found in the Cambridge LibGuides Databases A-Z and a record for it will be created in January 2018 for retrieval via iDiscover.

Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG) is a general encyclopedia of music.  MGG is encyclopedic in the true sense of that term: it offers in-depth articles on every aspect of music as well as many related areas such as literature, philosophy, and visual arts.  MGG Online contains the second print edition of MGG, published from 1994 to 2008, as well as current, continuous online updates and additions.

MGG Online traces its origins to the Protestant encyclopedia Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, seeing music not as a “neutral subject but one that compels action from the individual”, like religion, a subject whose “elemental roots in daily life, experience, and practice were axiomatic to its editors”.

Growing from the turbulent post-war years of Germany, the encyclopedia will now, the editors explain, unfold – unlike a print edition – as a “living project which alters, expands, and renews itself continuously” online:

The goal is the reliable, precise, and authoritative production of musical knowledge with clearly designated responsibilities and boundaries: in short, a publication to compete with other publications. Even in the online era, knowledge must not be reduced to a medial monoculture—alas, a most persistent and perilous illusion and one to which digital players are highly susceptible. What is more, the organization of knowledge is not the same thing as the infinite reproduction of everything which can be known. Were that the case, the digital encyclopedia would be simply a rather trivial replica of the wildest dreams of a positivist age. Order and delimitation are, generally speaking, the results of cogent decisions by professionals, often after long and heated deliberations. And these decisions are intended, above all, as guidance for nonspecialists. Such is the objective of an encyclopedia in the digital age, with all the advantages offered by nonlinear access.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature integration

As the University has subscription access to the RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, users can take advantage of links out from MGG Online to the RILM Abstracts which launch a search on RILM for the subject of the article in MGG.

Google Translate in MGG Online

The globe icon to the top right of any article in MGG links you to the Google Translate feature in the top bar of your MGG window in a browser.

 Photograph by Terry O’Neill / Getty

RALF VON APPEN, Art. Bowie, David, BIOGRAPHIE, in: MGG Online, hrsg. von Laurenz Lütteken, Kassel, Stuttgart, New York: 2016ff., published 2017-10-06,

Science Direct updating to Https

Elsevier are making changes to the Science Direct platform which will improve security and privacy by updating the URL from Http to Https. The change will take place between 16th and 19th October.

Our off-campus access proxy server was recently updated to match the highest security level settings imposed by the publishers and database providers that we use. This should guarantee that all links in iDiscover, the ejournals A-Z and the databases A-Z will correctly link through to Science Direct after their upgrade.

It may be advisable to update any bookmarked links you use for Science Direct after the upgrade date in order that they continue to work with the highest efficiency.

New platform for L’Année philologique

L’Année philologique will no longer be available on its current site after 30 September 2017.

From 1 October 2017, L’Année philologique will be available on the Brepols site here.

L’Année philologique collects annually scholarly works relating to every aspect of Greek and Roman civilization (authors and texts ; literature ; linguistics ; political, economic, and social history ; attitudes and daily life ; religion ; cultural and artistic life ; law ; philosophy ; science and technology ; and the history of classical studies).  Significant space is accorded to the auxiliary disciplines (archaeology, epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology and paleography)

New site for SPIE Digital Library

SPIE Digital Library

There is a new website for SPIE Digital Library from 15 August 2017.  The SPIE Digital Library is the most extensive resource available on optics and photonics, providing access to more than 466,000 technical papers from SPIE Journals and Conference Proceedings.

The URL of the new site is Links in our knowledgebase have not yet been updated by our KB provider, but a re-direct is in place on the SPIE site.  New features of the site, including an expanded taxonomy and an improved version for mobile device access, are described here.

Shibboleth access is enabled for the new site, but is not working correctly.  After authentication via Raven, you are not connected to the article download page, but instead you are connected to the SPIE home (general) search page.  You are then obliged to search for the article or journal again on the SPIE site.  Having found the article or journal you do then have access thanks to your prior authentication.  This problem has been reported to SPIE and SPIE’s response is that they see this as a “poor user experience” and have logged it with their developers.  Asked how long this situation will last, SPIE say “we don’t yet have an estimate as to how long it will take our developers to investigate this and alter the user experience”.


New Oxford Bibliography Online in International Law

The Squire Law Library and the University Library have arranged access to the International Law bibliography in the Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO) series.

Access is available now from this link or via the Cambridge LibGuides Databases A-Z.  The title, along with the other 14 OBOs to which the University Library subscribes, will be available in iDiscover from early October in time for the start of Michaelmas Term.

Oxford Bibliographies in International Law is designed to provide authoritative guidance. The field is rife with debate and controversy, as with most anything that deals with such a complex system of rules and principles meant to govern the relations between states and other institutional subjects, such as the United Nations or the European Union.

Because scholarship in this field is so bound up with diplomacy, the vast array of potentially relevant material that appears on the free web can overwhelm even the savviest scholars. With advances in online searching and database technologies, researchers can easily access library catalogs, bibliographic indexes, records of court decisions, and other lists that show thousands of resources that might also be useful to them. In this situation what is most needed is expert guidance. Researchers at all levels need tools that help them filter through the proliferation of information sources to material that is reliable and directly relevant to their inquiries

The Hemicycle of the European Parliament in Strasbourg during a plenary session in 2014.

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0