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Agriculture, policy and development: COVID-19

A guide to finding information in agriculture, policy and development. Includes links to key resources and sources of help.
Your Library continues to support you during the COVID-19 situation. Here we've brought together information and links to help you make sense of what resources you can access, how to do it, and how we can help you further. 

Online resources

You can still access the many resources we already provide online:

However, take the opportunity to try additional resources publishers are offering us for free during the COVID-19 situation via the 'COVID-19 additional free resources' section below. Access will probably cease or revert to previous arrangements after dates indicated, so please tell your Academic Liaison Librarian where you find anything so useful we should consider buying it in future.

Online Library help

All Library staff are still available to help and assist with your studies and research.

  • Your Academic Liaison Librarian, who has compiled this guide, can advise you on finding literature, referencing and other information matters. Go to the 'Home' or 'Help' tabs of this guide for their contact details - they can reply by email or video link.
  • Our Study Advisers are available for one-to-one advice and support online via video, chat, or email. They also have a series of video tutorials and study guides providing essential study advice.
  • Our Maths Support team is available for one-to-one advice and support online via video, chat, or email.  They also provide links and guidance, worksheets and video tutorials. 
  • Our Research Engagement team is available to support your research. If you require support for Open Access, research data management and other research related matters, please email
  • If you encounter a problem or need technical help and support with online resources, please complete an E-resources problem report form or email

Further information
If you have any other enquiries or require any additional support, please email

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library website, University Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Using our online resources from home

When you are off-campus we recommend that you follow links from the Library's webpages, Enterprise, Summon, or your subject guide. Following these links will often (but not always) direct you to login straight away with your University username and password.

You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by (e.g. and your password. If this is the first time you have logged in via this method when off-campus you will be asked to complete a Multi-Factor Authentication

Once you've logged in, you are then identified as a member of the University of Reading, and the book, search engine, or article database knows that you are a member of the University, and are allowed access to the material. You will not normally be asked to login again during that browser session.

Although you can search for information using a general web search, you will often find that you’re not able to access the information that you need – so it’s best to use the Library webpages first. 

If Single Sign On does not appear... 

If you have followed a link from our website or catalogues and you are not able to access the resource straight away you may need to look for a login option. Look for an institutional or shibboleth login option and pick 'University of Reading' from a list of institutions. This will direct you to login as above.

Accessing resources remotely

This series of videos covers accessing books, journal articles and primary sources when working away from campus. They include finding online Library resources and freely available material too.

To find a book you will need to use the Library’s Enterprise search – this is the first box on the Library homepage or use the box below. When you have searched, use the filters on the left-hand side to limit to Online only. To access an e-book online, click on the access link, and you will be prompted to login with your University username (e.g. and password. You can read e-books online, and can sometimes download part or all of a book to keep. 

If the book that you need isn't available as an e-book, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian, and they may be able to purchase a copy.

Search Enterprise for e-books


Watch this short video on finding e-books on Enterprise

Try Google books

If you need access to a specific book it is always worth trying Google Books. Although you won't find the complete text, it might provide the section you need.

To find chapters in books or online journal articles you can use the Library’s Summon search – this is the second box on the Library homepage or use the box below. Once you have run your search use the options on the left hand side to select the information that you need, for example journal articles, scholarly and peer review material. Everything that you see in your results can be accessed online - click the title or the Full Text Online link.  

If the article or chapter that you need isn't available online, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian, and they may be able to help find alternative access.

Search Summon for online book chapters and journal articles


Watch this short video on searching Summon

Finding Open Access research papers

In addition to the Open Access content listed on Summon you might want to try searching the following databases to find Open Access research papers:

Booking a study space

We are currently experiencing problems with the booking system and it isn't possible to book a space at the moment - we are investigating and will update this shortly [Tuesday 27 April 12:02]


To use a study space you need to book one, we will not be able to offer walk-in access. Spaces can be booked on the day you want to visit, or up to 7 days in advance for 1, 2 or 3 hour slots.

You must sit in the space you are allocated- check your booking confirmation email for details.

Access to study spaces is currently only available to Library members.

To book your space, please use the widget below. If you require a PC, please select one of the spaces labelled as having a PC in the booking type.

Not sure what space you want? See what the spaces look like using the PDF below:

Select the type of study space you would like to book from the list below - scroll down the options to see the upper floors

See our video for more guidance on booking a study space:

COVID-19 additional free resources

During the COVID-19 situation a number of publishers have been extending access to some or all of their resources, some for free, for a limited period. Please be aware that access will probably cease or revert to previous arrangements after the date indicated in the description of each resource. Let your Academic Liaison Librarian know if you have found any of these resources particularly useful so that we consider them for possible purchase.

Accessing the Library building safely

To comply with social distancing guidelines, a one-way system is in operation in the Library building. You are expected to wear a face covering (unless exempt) whilst using any public area in the library building. 

Main entrance - for study spaces, the Library Café and the IT-Service Desk

Use the main entrance to enter the Library building in order to access a booked study space, attend a booked IT Service Desk appointment, or use the Library Café. Bear left to access the Library Café or bear right to access study spaces or the IT Service Desk. You may have to queue at busy times. To access study spaces and the IT Service Desk, you must bring your booking confirmation and your campus card with you. We will check your booking at the Welcome desk when you arrive.

One way sign asking people to keep their distanceOne-way system

Once you're beyond the security barriers, please follow the one-way route, which is marked with directional signage and arrows on the floor (and on the floor plans, below.) To reach the upper floors, please use the central staircase. To come back down, you will need to use the staircase behind the lifts. Lifts are available for those who require them - one person per lift.

North entrance (Palmer quad) - to pick up Click & Collect items

To collect items which you have requested using the Click & Collect service, please enter the Library via the sign-posted door on the north side of the building (opposite the Palmer and Carrington buildings). 

Opening Hours
  Library building open Click & Collect service open

Sat 12 December - Fri 8 January


Mon -Thu*: 08:30 - 19:00
Fri: 08:30 - 17:00
Sat & Sun: Closed

The Library will be closed from Tuesday
22 December to Sunday 3 January for the
University Christmas closure.

Mon -Thu*: 10:00 - 19:00
Fri: 10:00 - 17:00
Sat & Sun: Closed
Saturday 9 January - Sunday 28 March

Mon - Thu: 08:30 - 19:00
Fri - Sun: 08:30 - 17:00

Mon - Thu: 10:00 - 19:00
Fri - Sun: 10:00 - 17:00