How to use eresources@cambridge: #10 Getting full access to articles that are not in our eresource collections

If you need an article and we do not have access to it via our ejournal subscriptions you will still be able to get access to the article through your libraries.

Here are the steps can you take to get access

  1. browser plug-ins and Open Access
  2. print copy and Scan & Deliver
  3. Inter-Library Loans/Document Delivery

You can complete these steps without necessarily having to visit a library building, but still making use of the library print collections and zero-contact services.

  1. Browser Plug-ins and Open Access

With the help of browser plug-ins you can search our eresource holdings and Open Access (OA) versions or articles automatically when you visit a publisher website.

Full details of the browser plug-ins are available from Search & Discovery pages.

LibKey Nomad directs you to the website where you would have subscription access to an article and offers Open Access alternatives, if full text access isn’t available, and an open access version is.

2. Print journals and Scan & Deliver

If there is no paid or OA version of the article available electronically we recommend checking for a print copy of the journal on iDiscover. If the journal is available in print, and the library that holds the copy is open, holds the volume you need and offers the service, you can arrange to use the Scan & Deliver service to have a scan of the article emailed to you at no charge.

Members of the University of Cambridge can request Scan & Deliver online.

The University Library currently offers this service for print and Electronic Legal Deposit material (ELD is only available as print outs and there is a £2 charge). The Betty & Gordon  Moore Library  also offers a Scan & Deliver service for their print collection.

Please check with your Faculty or Department Library for details of the services they are currently providing.

3. Inter-Library Loans/Document Delivery

If the article you need is not available electronically or in print in any of our libraries collections you should be able to get hold of a copy via the Inter-Library Loans and Document Delivery teams. If an electronic copy of an article is available from any partnering institution it will be provided to you as a PDF.

A list of the teams providing these services is available.

The Inter-Library Loans team at the University Library are currently able to provide this service for free to members of the University of Cambridge.

You should now have a copy of the article you need. If you don’t, you can contact the author of the article and they may share a copy with you. The majority of publishers permit the author to “responsibly share” their own publications which means that the author can share the published version of the article privately with colleagues in academia for the colleague’s personal (reading) use.

If our holdings state that we should have access but you experience any difficulties then please contact the Electronic Collection Management helpdesk or visit our help pages.

If we do not have a subscription to a title you complete the recommendation form. Please include a reason for recommendation:

Image credits:

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels (please do not use books as coasters)

Photo by Cem Saka from Pexels

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

LibChat service now available – Chat with us

Chat with us

Have a question about ejournals and eresouces? Chat with us using our new LibChat service! Currently, the chat is live Monday to Friday 1000-1200 and 1400-1600.

If you want to get in touch with us outside these hours, please email or use the problem report form.

How do I use chat?

Just click in the text entry box (the white box) and start typing your question. When you have finished typing your question press ENTER. A librarian will answer your enquiry as soon as possible during the hours the chat service is online.

Science Direct access issue : workaround

If you are unable to access full-text articles on the Science Direct platform, please try the workaround below. This is a known issues affecting Science Direct users and the publisher is working to find a resolution.

Thank you for your patience.

Workaround – Download articles from the results page

Please tick on the box beside the article you wish to download and click on the download button. A zip file will be downloaded containing the PDF.















If you have any questions please contact the ejournals@cambridge helpdesk.

How to use eresources@cambridge: #9 Checking journal holdings

We have access to over 120,000 ejournals, but our access to these journals does not always include full access from volume 1 to present in our holdings.

Searching for journals in iDiscover or the ejournals search you will see a list of results with brief descriptions of each journal.

The date information in this short results screen record shows that the journal began being published in 2006 and does not include an end date.

Clicking on the ‘Online access’ link will open the journal for access on the EBSCO platform, but we are only offered volumes for the years 2007-2010.

The ‘Online access’ link will open a webpage from the first link listed alphabetically in the full iDiscover record.

If there is more than one link the holdings date range may be different for each. Checking these links may offer access to the journal via a different link.

For the ‘Oxford Journal’ we only have one link for access – the EBSCO link that led to the page shown above.

Clicking on the journal title from the short form record will open the full record and show the link/s and holdings information for the journal.

The date range for our holdings that are shown in the ‘View it’ box in the record show us that our access is limited to the years 2007 to 2010.

As no other links are available for online access it may be possible to find a print copy of the journal. If no print copy is available your local Inter-Library Loans or Document Delivery Service should be able to hold of a copy of the article.

Details of Inter-Library Loans and Document Delivery Services available to members of the University of Cambridge are available from the eresources pages.

If you have any questions or want to contact us please do so  ejournals@cambridge helpdesk


How to use eresources@cambridge: SPECIAL – The advice we often give to help with access problems

If you click on a link to an article or ejournal and the page does not load correctly we would suggest that you take two steps to make sure that the problem is not local to your computer.


What browser are you using? Does the article or ejournal open if you use a different browser?

This is suggested when the article/ejournal opens correctly for us (on and off campus) and we want to work out if the issue is with the  browser of the person who is experiencing an access issue.


It can be useful to delete the history, cookies and cache from your browser before closing and reopening it. Does this help you get access?

This is suggested when the article or ejournal opens in a second browser, but not the primary browser that is being used. Errors can get stored in browsers. By deleting history, etc. you can sometimes clear the problem and get access.


If you cannot access what you need you can check if it is include in our eresources collection by searching for it in iDiscover. We may have access to what you need via a different platform.

If you have any questions or want to contact us please do so  ejournals@cambridge helpdesk


How to use eresources@cambridge: #8 Alumni access

The Alumni Office of the University of Cambridge has made a number of eresrouces available for alumni.

You might have finished studying but you still have free access to a number of online academic resources wherever you live around the world:
If you completed your studies…
  • before June 2018 use your email address. Or, register for free if you don’t have one.
  • after June 2018 use your CRSid (eg: abc123).

The eresources available to access are:

  • Adam Matthew Digital
  • Cambridge Core
  • Credo Reference
  • EBSCO Educational Databases
  • Emerald Insight
  • HSTalks Business and Management Collection
  • IOP Press
  • Karger Publishers
  • Medieval and Early Modern Sources Online (MEMSO)
  • OECD iLibrary
  • Project Muse
  • ProQuest – The New York Times
  • Sage Journals
  • Sage Research Methods


If you have any questions or want more information about access please contact the Alumni Office



Image credit: ‘Senate House Passage, Cambridge’ by subherwal on Flickr –

How to use eresources@cambridge: #7 Shibboleth and Institutional Login (Off Campus)

If you find an article you need on a publisher platform you can often log into the platform from off campus using the Shibboleth or institutional login option. Most publishers offer this facility. If you can’t find a Shibboleth or institutional login option you may find the Lean Library browser extension useful.

There should be a ‘log in’ or ‘sign in’ option on most publisher platforms. The option is usually at the top of the screen or in the panel on the right or left side. For this platform the ‘log in’ option is at the top right hand side of the screen.

When you choose the ‘log in’ option you will often have several choices for logging in. You should only enter you Raven credentials into a Raven banded log in screen. If you enter your Raven credentials into a publisher log in screen, like the one shown on the left, without choosing the Shibboleth option you will not get access and you may compromise the security of your Raven account.

The University used to use the Athens authentication method, which is still used by some members of the University who have access to eresources via their NHS affiliation, but we now use Shibboleth (sometimes labelled as Institutinoal) access.

Choosing the Shibboleth option will lead to either a list of institutions that need to be scrolled through in order to find the University, a search bar when you can search for your institution, or a drop down list which requires the local federation to be selected before the institution can be found. We are members of the UK Access Management Federation – we are not often required to take this step.

Once the University of Cambridge has been selected you will be prompted to log in with Raven.

You may be asked to accept terms and conditions of use for Raven after logging in. you are given the option of remembering your choice for 1 year.

Once you have logged in you should see a message at the top of the screen that is similar to the phrase on this platform – ‘Access provided by the University of Cambridge’. You can then search the platform for articles, etc. and will be able to access full text of any content included in our subscription.

If you cannot access what you need you can check if it is include in our eresources collection by searching for it in iDiscover. We may have access to what you need via a different platform.

If you have any questions or want to contact us please do so  ejournals@cambridge helpdesk


How to use eresources@cambridge: #5 Article searching in iDiscover (& excluding Electronic Legal Deposit)

iDiscover allows you to search to electronic and print journals and books as well as search for  full text articles from within the majority of ejournals, newspapers and databases available to the University of Cambridge. You can perform general keyword searches for an overview of a subject or find a specific article via a title search. (click on the coloured links to be taken to the section you need).

Please note: you will also be searching the Electronic Legal Deposit collection of material received at the University Library as Legal Deposit from publishers. These articles (and ebooks) can only be accessed via designated PCs with the University Library and the affiliated department and faculty libraries.

See details below of how to exclude these results from your search.

General keyword searches for an overview of a subject

Check the ‘Articles and online resources’ option above the search box. In the iDiscover search box enter the keywords that you would like to search and click on the magnifying glass icon.

The list of results you see will include ‘ Electronic Legal Deposit’ articles that cannot be read when off-campus or from on campus networked PCs.

You can also filter you search results with the ‘Refine my results’ list in the panel on the right hand side of the screen. You can click on a filter to specify that it has to be included in your search. If you hover your mouse over the filter the text will change to red and a red tick inside a circle that is crossed through will appear. Click on this to exclude this type of result from your list.

Any filters you choose will appear above the ‘Refine my results list’ and you can cancel them by clicking on the ‘X’ next to the text in the white box.


To open an article or ejournal click on the green ‘Full text available’ or ‘Online access’ link from the results list record view. If you click on the record you will see a more detailed record for the article or ejournal.

If you are off campus and not already logged in to Raven then you will be prompted to log in with Raven at this point. 


To exclude Electronic Legal Deposit go to the bottom of the list of filters and expand the ‘Collection’ list. Find Electronic Legal Deposit in this list, hover your cursor over it and click on the ‘exclude this’ symbol. Your results should now all be available to access as full text.


Electronic Legal Deposit detailed records will include the text:


Specific article via a title search


To search for a specific article we recommend putting speechmarks around the title. This will limit the search to results showing that exact string of words in the record.

You can also search for a specific article you can search by the article DOI (Digital Object Identifier): ie. 10.7717/peerj.338.

You can also use the Advanced Search option to search by citation information when you do not have the article title.


If you have any problems accessing articles send us a message via the ‘Report a problem’ form from the iDiscover article/journal record or contact the  ejournals@cambridge helpdesk


How to resolve connection failure & timed out error messages

Connecting via EZproxy links

Some users have reported seeing error messages when connecting to resources via EZproxy links, both on and off campus.  Usually these links are in iDiscover or in the ejournals A-Z.  Over the next several weeks we are aiming to upgrade our EZproxy server, which we expect to have a beneficial effect regardless, and will be the first step towards resolving the issue.

Typical messages users have reported are: “Connection to was interrupted while the page was loading”, “This site can’t provide a secure connection” or a time out message. As we do not have a solution now, we offer the following work-arounds.  If none of these work for you, please report the issue using the form here.  Thank you for your patience.

These steps should be followed in order to regain access:

  • Clear all the cookies, browsing history and cache of your browser and restart it. It is important to choose the option to delete ‘Everything’ (Firefox), from ‘the beginning of time’ (Chrome), or any equivalent time span in the browser you are using, in order for this to be effective
  • Try using a different browser entirely.
  • Perform a complete browser refresh/reset (for example using Firefox instructions here). This will reset the browser to factory settings and users may not want to do this if they use add-ons on their browser as they may lose stored passwords and data.
  • Locate the resource on a publisher’s site and access it via Shibboleth/institutional login (if you need any assistance with this please contact us using the form here)