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Literature searching

A guide to finding articles, books and other materials on your subject, and managing the useful references you find.

How do I know the library has the items I need?

When you are looking at your search results on most databases, look out for this button:


Click on it and you will see straight away if the item you found is available online from one of our sources. Where possible you will be taken directly to the full-text after logging in with your University username and password. If this isn't possible you will see the Item Finder screen giving you the option to search the Library catalogue for a print copy, plus other ways to get hold of the item.

Item Finder

What if it isn't available in the Library?

Databases are usually international and they index a large number of sources. Since these databases are not based on our collection at Reading, we will probably not have all the items you find on them. If an item is not available at Reading you can:

  • apply for an inter-library loan, for which we may contact the British Library or other major academic library to get the item you need. 
  • visit another library that has the item you need.