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E-journals: frequently asked questions – University of Reading

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E-journals: frequently asked questions

Are all journals available electronically?

No, although more are becoming available each year.

Can I get any journal article online?

No. You can only get those contained in journals to which we have a subscription or which are freely available. All of the titles to which we subscribe are available through the E-journals Finder.  Most titles are also listed on the Enterprise catalogue, and you can search for articles via the Summon Discovery Service. Some high quality, free e-journals are also available via these routes.

If we don't have the article you need (in print or online) you can usually apply for it via our Inter-library loans service.

If you are on a publisher's website you may be able to use the Advanced search to limit your results to subscribed content only, although this will work only if you are on-campus or have logged in to the website via an Institutional login, so that the site knows that you are a member of the University of Reading.

How does the Library get its e-journals?

In most cases we have to either hold a subscription to a particular title or a subscription to a service that gives access to e-journals. Very few e-journals are available free (although there is a growing trend towards Open Access), but the general rule is "if we don't subscribe to it we don't have access to it".

How can I tell which journals the Library has online?

For the most comprehensive listing you need to use the E-journals Finder. You can: 

  • search for a title by entering the first few words 
  • browse an A-Z list of titles by clicking on the initial letter 
  • browse a list of titles by subject - select a subject from the pick-list to browse more detailed subjects in that category and then view relevant titles

You will also find e-journals on the Enterprise catalogue - just search for the journal title. Articles within many of our e-journals can be found via our Summon Discovery Service.

How do I access e-journals?

Via the E-journals Finder

  • Search or browse the E-journals Finder for the title you need
  • Under each title you will see one or more links to online access
  • Check which one covers the year that you need and click on the link to go directly to that journal.

Via the Enterprise catalogue

  • Search for the title on the Enterprise catalogue
  • Click on the link under the title to "... check online coverage and access available volumes"
  • You will taken into the E-journals Finder to access the journal and see which years are available

Via the Summon Discovery Service

  • Search for a topic or article title on the Summon Discovery Service
  • Click on the article title to access the full-text

From database search results

You can also access e-journals from database search results by clicking on the “Search for item at Reading” button. This takes you to our Item Finder. For more information see Using the Item Finder.

Why is there sometimes more than one link?

Some e-journals are available from more than one service. Sometimes a longer archive of a title is available from one source rather than another, or one source is available off-campus. Supplying multiple links also means that if one service is unavailable you have an alternative option.

Can I access e-journals off-campus?

Most of our journals are available both on- and off-campus. Check by looking at the information to the right of the link to the journal in the E-journals Finder. It will say "Available on campus only" if it isn't available off-campus. 

For those that can be accessed off-campus you will need to login using your University username and password (the one you use to access your University email account). For some of these you will need to go via the Institutional login system.

See the E-journals Finder help page for more information.

Do I need a username and password to access e-journals?

If you are on campus you will be able to access many e-journals without needing to login. Some require you to login using your University username and password (the one you use to access your University email account). For some of these you will need to go via the Institutional login system.

See the E-journals Finder help page for more information.

Do we have access to the ScienceDirect service?

Yes! But for most subjects we only have access to articles published from 1995 onwards. More about ScienceDirect

I'm having problems opening a PDF - I just see an error message or a blank screen. What should I do?

This problem may be fixed by changing he settings in Adobe Reader and in your browser so that the PDF opens in a separate window, instead of in your browser.

Change your Adobe settings as follows:

  1. Open Adobe Reader 
  2. Go to the Edit menu and select Preferences 
  3. In the left column select Internet 
  4. Uncheck Allow fast web view 
  5. Uncheck Display PDF in browser (if this option is not present see the adobe help link below)
  6. Click OK

For instructions on changing your browser settings see the Adobe help pages.

What should I do if I can't access an e-journal which I think should be available?

Contact your Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian or fill in the E-resources problem report form.

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