The aim of your literature search is to find relevant publications to enable you to gain an understanding of the area you are working in, and to identify a knowledge gap which your project can address. You should concentrate on finding peer-reviewed journal articles, but these can be supplemented with information from books. Websites should be used with caution. All the literature you use should be cited and referenced following the guidance given on the 'Referencing' page in this guide:
Journal articles are usually short papers on specific topics. They are published in issues or parts of journals (also called periodicals) which appear regularly. Use articles to find:
You can find journal articles via our Summon discovery service or online databases.
Search the Summon discovery service using the box below to find full-text journal articles available via the Library. Search using topic words or use it to find out if we have access to a specific article by searching for the article title.
Search databases covering your subject
You should also search relevant databases to widen your search. See the lists below of key and additional databases. They will give you references to journal articles and other publications - they may also give you the full-text of the article. They are not limited to the Library's journal subscriptions, so you may need to use the inter-library loans service to get hold of some articles.
If you are doing a lab-based project your should at least search Web of Science. If you are doing a literature-based project you will need to search all which are relevant to your topic.
These are the major resources for finding literature and information in Pharmacy.
These specialist sources may be useful for some topics.
This series of three videos (available via the tabs in this box) cover:
You will need to login using your University email address and password to view the videos.
We also have the following generic guides to literature searching and searching databases:
Literature search plan template and example
Use the following documents to help you plan your literature search to make it as comprehensive as possible.
This video covers using Summon and Web of Science to find journal articles and the search techniques to use to create a comprehensive search
This video covers searching PubMed - basic, advanced and MeSH searching tips.
If you are on campus you will be able to access most e-journals and e-books, and some databases, without entering a username and password because your IP address identifies you as being at the University of Reading.
For any that require a login, see the Off-campus tab.
When you are off-campus you will need to login to identify yourself as a member of the University of Reading to gain access to our protected databases, e-books and e-journals.
Your login details
You login in the same way as for Blackboard - via Microsoft. Just enter your University username followed by @student.reading.ac.uk (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. For more information see:
Getting to the login page...
Watch this short video on how you login to use Library resources.
If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Logging in to the Library video on YuJa (University username and password required)
The ILL service can obtain a wide range of academic books, journals, and conference proceedings. Because of the costs involved it is meant only for material which is essential to your studies or research.
For more information see our Inter-Library Loans webpages: