Online Resources FAQs: Overview

What are online resources?

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 bought by the Library through subscription 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.

You can 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.

For subject specific guidance, you may need to contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for support.

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 Tech Zone on the Library ground floor 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 Tech Zone in the Library (see: opening hours).

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 

There may also be access to freely available or Open Access items - you may check via Brunel's special Google Scholar link or try a browser add-on button for Brunel such as Kopernio - both of these services are integrated with Brunel's digital holdings. Also read the following sections.

How do I use online resources off campus?

We recommend that you use the "Access resources of-campus" link on the Library home page (described 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 Access Management Federation, etc. This link may be on the same web page or you may need to click on a link to get more options. NB: Except for a few NHS-commissioned Health Sciences courses, Brunel does not use the OpenAthens Access Management System - so do not try to connect via this service.

Google Scholar users should edit their preference and select Brunel University as their home institution - for details of how to do this, see this LibAnswer FAQ.

What online resources can I access?

The link "Access resources off-campus" on the Library homepage 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 also indexed on the Library Catalogue, marked as [electronic resource]. When the catalogue opens, change the selection next to the Home icon Catalogue Home icon or button from searching  "Everything" to "E-books"...

Catalogue search drop-down menu - select E-books
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, or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for assistance.

Are the resources free?

You should not need to pay to access any of the resources because the Library has already paid a subscription. This means that they are free to staff and students at the point of use, after you have logged in as with your Brunel credentials. Look for the Brunel University logo and/or a text banner: "Brought to you by Brunel University" on the provider's web site to verify that you are logged on.

If you think you should have access but you are not authorised to view the full text article, send an email to the Library's Digital Services team, along with the full reference to the journal article or book and we will advise you if we hold a subscription or not.

Useful tools

1. LibX - if you use Chrome or Firefox as your browser, why not use our handy LibX toolbar add-on? Use it to find print and electronic resources on services such as:

  • Library Search
  • Library Catalogue
  • Google Scholar (see also this FAQ)
  • Copac

You can install Brunel'sLibX toolbar by visiting:

2. Google Scholar users should edit their preference and select Brunel University as their home institution - for details of how to do this, see this LibAnswer FAQ.

3. Try a browser add-on button for Brunel such as Kopernio.