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Online Resources FAQs

As well as the many physical resources, books, journals and DVDs etc, available in the Library, we also provide access to a wealth of electronic resources. These include databases, journals and e-books.

Access to these resources has been licensed by the Library (through an annual subscription or a permanent purchase) and is limited to current staff and students. Access is dependent on authentication based on your Brunel University network username and password. You should always use the Library's website as your starting point as you will not gain access automatically off campus.

For subject specific guidance, you may need to contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for support. You can also find answers to basic frequently asked questions below, however we also recommend that you visit our FAQ portal, LibAnswers, which contains more detailed questions and answers.


You have access to several copyright resources through online resources and your use is governed by copyright law and licensing regulations and by additional terms and conditions set by the copyright owners or their agents. You must ensure that your use complies with these as well as the Brunel Acceptable Computer Use Policy.

Use of resources is for your personal educational use only. For information on permitted uses of copyright material for learning and teaching, see our copyright advice pages.

How do I log in?

Logging on via the Library home page

On the Library home page choose the "Access resources off-campus" link at the top left of the page. Type in your Brunel University network username and password (i.e.: the same credentials as for Brunel Sign In). Note for administration staff only: you will need to prefix your username with the administration domain and a backslash, for example enter: administration\username).

Contact or visit the TechZone in the foyer of the Bannerman centre if you need help with your Brunel network username and password, or register for the Brunel Network Account Management Password Self Service (use the fourth button on your first visit, use one of the three  other options on subsequent visits).

Resources that require a separate password

Some resources are not compatible with Brunel Sign In and require a separate username and password. There are links to our password list for all such databases and journals on the relevant database and e-journal pages. The full list of passwords can also be seen on our "Password protected resources" page. To access the password page you will need to log on to the University Intranet using your network username and password (as above).

For off-campus access, most of our links will give you access to the resources. You may also use Library Search, our single search software. You should not need to use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) but this is still available. For more information on how to download the AnyConnect VPN Universal application and install it on your personal computer, visit the Brunel Connect Portal and select the 'Connect To' tab.

Wireless access on campus: first-time users should make a Wi-Fi connection to the SignUp4Wifi@Brunel network to register your laptop computer or mobile device by following the instructions at the Connect Portal. Once you have done so you will be permitted wireless web access via the Wifi@Brunel network. If you encounter any problems with wireless access contact the Connect team through the Connect portal's Help tab, or visit the TechZone in the foyer of the Bannerman centre.

Alternative access to resources

You may search across several resources at the same time using Library Search, our single search software, which is accessible from the search box on the Library home page. Follow the instructions above for logging on. If you find you cannot connect to an electronic resource please try our "Alternative" links - just look below the description for each database on our Databases A-Z web pages.

How do I use online resources off campus?

We recommend that you use the "Access resources off-campus" link on the Library home page (see section above). Then use the links the Library provides for e-journals, e-books or databases. You should not need to log in again unless your session is inactive for more than 30 minutes.

Note: if you do not use Brunel Sign In first and you access resources directly, or via a search engine such as Google, you will need to click on a sign in link on the publisher's website and search for a link to Brunel Sign In - hint: look for “Brunel University” on the site - if you cannot see your home institution then you will probably need to sign in. Each resource may use different text to describe this process - for example: Sign in, Login, Institutional login, Academic login, Shibboleth, UK Higher Education or Federation, etc. This link may be on the same web page or you may need to click on a link to get more options. Please note, except for a few NHS-commissioned Health Sciences courses (for more details see: What is OpenAthens for the NHS?), Brunel does not use the OpenAthens Access Management System - so do not try to connect via this service.

I'm having problems accessing resources

You may occasionally encounter problems with access to resources. This could be because:

  • There are temporary problems with the university computer network - you can check at the Tech Zone. Try again later following the procedures in the "How do I log in?" section above to access online resources.
  • There may be a problem with an individual resource - for example, it may be down for maintenance. Consult the Databases web page for an alternative link or check the Brunel Library Twitter account as we will post updates where a site is experiencing problems.
  • There may be a problem with Brunel's online subscription - contact the Library for help.
  • There may a problem with your University network account. If you followed the procedures in the "How do I log in?" section above and you were unable to sign in you may use the Password Portal to reset your password. If that doesn't work, you may need to contact or visit TechZone for further assistance.
  • Your browser settings are blocking access. Check your browser's settings:
    - is it enabled to accept cookies?
    - is the pop-up blocker setting preventing a pop-up from opening?
    - do you have a toolbar which may block access, for example the Yahoo toolbar?
  • Still no access? We recommend that you try using a different browser:
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Safari

What online resources can I access from the library pages?

The Library provides access to the e-journals, e-books, and databases.

  • Library Search - searches simultaneously across books, journals, journal articles. This can be a good starting point when deciding which resource to search on.
  • e-Books - most e-books are indexed on the Library Catalogue, marked as [electronic resource].
  • e-Journals - access to full text journal titles to which the Library subscribes (check the dates carefully, we may not subscribe to the year you need!)
  • Databases - search across collections of journal articles, electronic books and other material. The A-Z list of Databases is useful when you know which resource you want to use. Otherwise it is recommended that you consult the Subject pages.

Are the resources free?

You should not need to pay to access any of the resources because the Library has already paid a subscription or purchased the item in perpetuity. This means that they are free to staff and students at the point of use, after you have logged in with your Brunel credentials. For your security, never share your credentials.

What do I do if I cannot find what I need through online resources?

First, check the Library catalogue to find out if what you need is available in print. The Library will normally try to get hold of material recommended on your reading lists. If you are an undergraduate, the Library will hold most, if not all, of the material you need to consult.

If you are a postgraduate or researcher, you may want to make use of resources we do not have in stock. In this instance, you may wish to: