Category Archives: Library Search

5 Things Freshers Need To Know About RHUL’s Library

Using the Library and its resources could well help you get a better grade. Fact. So here are some tips to get you started and make sure your library experience is more this:


than this:


So here are the top things you need to know to get started with the libraries on campus.

1. Where is the Library?

There’s a lot going on in Welcome Week and finding the libraries might not be the first thing on your Fresher’s bucket list. When your first essay drops, though, the library is the place to be on campus so you’re better off getting ahead of the pack and finding it early.


Don’t worry: campus takes a bit of getting used to but you’ll have it worked out in no time. The main things you need to know are that there is only ONE library containing over 600,000 volumes. The Library is in the Emily Wilding Davison Building in the centre of campus.

2. Ok, that’s a lot of books – how do I find the stuff I actually want?


Academic libraries are way bigger than school or public libraries, and it’s not just books – we’ve got journal, electronic resources, databases – you can even borrow laptops! So how do you find what you actually want?

Well, that’s where LibrarySearch comes in. This is the tool that searches all of our collections  and helps you locate the resources you need. So don’t get in a spin over our collections, read our guide to searching for items and you’ll be sorted.


And if you want to make sure you’re finding the A* quality resources to make your essays really sparkle, you can always ask your friendly library information consultant.

3. Perfect book found, now how do I actually borrow it?


Don’t worry – you’ll have a lot of reading to do and we don’t expect you to work through those big textbooks in the library. That’s why undergraduates can now borrow up to 25 items at any one time. (You’re welcome.)

Borrowing couldn’t be easier – your College Card doubles as your library card while you’re with us (so make sure you bring it with you every time you visit the library). All you need to do is pick the items you want to borrow and check them out on our self-service machines (don’t worry, staff are on hand to help if technology hates you).  Best of all, it’s completely free to borrow items (just bring them back on time, or – fines!)

4. This is all great, but I still need HELP, where do I turn?


Hey, this is what librarians are for – helping you get the resources you need is what we do.

Every department is assigned a librarian to help support you, and you can read handy guides from each of them online here:

And if that doesn’t answer your question you can always pop in to see us – the helpdesk in the library is staffed from 9am to 9pm. Alternatively, you can email us at or start up a live chat with a librarian right now.

5. Sounds good, anything else I should know?

Go on then! One more information morsel for you:

As a member of the University of London, we have full access to Senate House Library and all of their e-resources. You don’t even have to go into London to register, you can do it online. Want to know more? Read our guide on accessing Senate House Library.

We hope that’s been a helpful introduction to us and our services. Come in and chat to us any time to find out more, or visit our website:

And remember, getting the job done isn’t hard…


Enjoy your time with us!

Library Enquiry of the Month: Where is this journal article?

When you’re searching for a journal article on a topic, or for an assignment, you can go to LibrarySearch. Either type the title of the article and the author’s surname into the ‘All’ search box, or search for the journal title in the ‘Journals by Title’ box (this does take longer!)

Always click ‘View Online’ to follow a link to the journal article PDF.

If the journal article doesn’t show up in LibrarySearch, try using Senate House Library’s catalogue – they have a wide range of resources too. If you haven’t already, pre-register for access to their online resources here.

If that still doesn’t work, try Google Scholar to see if a PDF is available.


Still nothing? Request the article using Royal Holloway’s inter-library loan service and if possible, we’ll email you the article. You’ll need an inter-library loans voucher from your departmental administrator, and then complete the online form above – the team will let you know how your request is going!

So what with all those options, you should be able to get hold of almost any article!

Getting better search results

We just received an email on narrowing down search results – “I’m searching for books on the idea of performance but I always get thousands of results which are based around performance meaning how well something is performing such as a business etc. Do you have any suggestions for how I can search for more relevant materials?”

So I thought it might be useful to put the answer into a blog post – as we’ve all been there.

Things to Try to get better search results

1. Change your keywords.

If your search for ‘performance’ brings back unrelated items, try changing what you search for. Synonyms might include ‘drama’, ‘theatre’, ‘performing arts’ etc.

Try adding more keywords e.g. ‘audience participation’, or a particular theorist, theory or performer you’re interested in.

LibrarySearch and other databases have list of subject headings – click on these to find more examples of keywords.

Where to find the subject headings in LibarySearch


Select the headings which are relevant, and choose the checkbox to include or exclude them from your search.
Select the headings which are relevant, and choose the checkbox to include or exclude them from your search.

2. Combine your keywords.

Databases will accept certain combinations of words and use them to make your search more effective.

3. Change the database.

LibrarySearch is pretty general – if you’re after items on a particular subject, go to your subject guide and try the Finding E-resources link for a list of more specific databases.

4. Who’s cited what?

When you finish a recommended article, or book, go to the back and take a look at what they referenced when writing it – then look these up and carry on!

You can also use Google Scholar to see who’s cited the article or book you’re reading now – and see what they said on the topic.

Look for the ‘Cited by’ part, and click it to get information on other articles and books.

Click 'Cited By' to see other articles which reference this one above.
Click ‘Cited By’ to see other articles which reference this one above.

Try LibrarySearch to get hold of articles or books, and if it’s not there, don’t panic – we can get it!

5. Ask your Librarian!

Whether it’s a presentation or PhD thesis, you can always arrange a meeting with your librarian to go through the subject and searching with you, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Using LibrarySearch – RHUL Library on YouTube

If you’re just starting to use LibrarySearch to find information for your assignments you might find this playlist useful – we’ve a range of videos to help you get to grips with using LibrarySearch to manage your account and find what you need.



For more video help, go to LibraryRHUL on YouTube.

Finding recent magazine issues using Nexis UK

Browsing journals online can be difficult, depending on the database that you have to use to access them. You can use the ‘Journals by Title’ search in LibrarySearch to find a publication.

Some are very easy to use, and make it clear where the most recent issue is – such as in the video above.

Here are some examples relevant to Media Arts which are a little more complicated…

Accessing Variety using the FIAF database

To look up access options for the Variety magazine, go to LibrarySearch ( and use the ‘Journals by Title’ search:


Select ‘View Online’ to see the access options:



If you’re using FIAF, you should be taken to a page with some bibliographic information on the journal, and under ‘List of issues’ a collapsible list of contents pages, which should link to the PDF of articles wherever possible:


Click ‘PDF’ to view the article.

Accessing Screen International using the Nexis UK database

Some publications, like ‘Screen International’ are only available via the Nexis UK database. You will need to follow the link to Nexis, but then try using the date range filters to narrow down the range of articles. Clicking ‘Search’ should take you to a recent list.


If you have any questions about accessing publications, leave a comment or email

1000s more ebooks added to LibrarySearch

This month Library has added 1000s more ebooks covering all subject areas have been added to LibrarySearch. This is in addition to the large collection of ebooks already available to RHUL students, researchers & staff.

To find ebooks, just search for book titles as normal and if the ebook is available it will appear alongside print titles in the results list. Or select ‘Full text available’ from filter list on the left hand menu in the LibrarySearch results page.

(See the ‘how to find ebooks’ video: )

Search for ebooks on LibrarySearch

PLEASE NOTE: some ebooks offer a ‘preview’ of the first 50 pages before allowing you to access the rest of the content. If you receive a notice to say that you can preview the first 50 pages of the book (pages 1 to 50), but you want to view further than page 50, then click on the preview and then wait for 5 minutes. You should then see the following message:

“Preview Expired. The 5 minute, 50 page preview has expired. Would you like to continue reading? This will unlock the entire book”

Just click on ‘Continue reading’ and you can access the whole text.

This should all work smoothly, but if you have any problems accessing these texts, or if you want to check if a text is available as an ebook, just ask at the Library Help Desk or email: and we will look into this for you.

End of Term Tips: Finding online books and articles using LibrarySearch

E-books and e-journals are great when you’re researching off-campus, or can’t come into the Library. How do you use LibrarySearch to find e-books and e-journals?

How to find e-books using LibrarySearch:

  1. Go to LibrarySearch (you can find it from the Library Homepage)
  2. Search for a book title, or subject.
  3. Click on the Books, Music and Films tab to search.
  4. On the left hand side, under Show Only, click Full Text Online. If there are e-books available, they will now be displayed.
  5. Click View Online to read the e-book.

How to find online articles using Library Search:

  1. Go to LibrarySearch (you can find it from the Library Homepage)
  2. Search for an article title, or subject.
  3. Click Search.
  4. On the left hand side, under Show Only, click Full Text Online.
  5. To narrow down to scholarly articles only, click Peer-reviewed Journals on the left hand side under Show Only.
  6. To read the article, click View Online and follow the link to the article.

For best results, use CampusAnywhere [] when you are using LibrarySearch or any Library resources off-campus.

Our Christmas Opening Hours for 2013 []

I can’t find a journal article what do I do now?

Sometimes you may have found an article you think will be very useful for your research but you can’t quickly find it on Library Search. Don’t give up!

Before you do anything else register for Senate House 

1. Check the journal title on  Library Search

Not all articles will appear when you search Library Search for them by title but we may still have a subscription to the journal. Go to the Journals by Title option on Library Search. Type in the Journal title. If you were looking for this article:

Ver Straeten, C. A. (2013), Beneath it all: bedrock geology of the Catskill Mountains and implications of its weathering. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1298: 1–29. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12221

The title of the journal is Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Search for this and you go to the main page for the journal. Select the year, volume and issue to find the article. In most cases you could search within the title by author or article title.

2. Check Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a useful resource when you are trying to track down articles. As a database it won’t cover as much as our databases but it can help you find ways to access material.

Note:  Set your Google Scholar Settings to link to Senate House and RHUL – more information here.

As well as allowing you to check both RHUL libraries and Senate Hose it also brings back information from some Online Repositories.

3. Check Senate House

Although most of the time Google Scholar will tell you if Senate House has something online it is always worth double checking.  Search for the Journal Title at Senate house 

4. Inter-Library Loan

If we don’t have the journal and neither does Senate House, consider requesting an Inter-Library Loan.  This service is available to members of College.

5. Other Libraries

See if another library has it, and visit yourself: use the information on the Other Libraries page.

If in doubt, always check with your Information Consultant before spending any money online.

Library Search – Exporting to Refworks

You will need a Refworks account to export. Details of how to set one up are available here.

If you are going to access Refworks off campus you will need the Group Code: RWRoyalH

  1. When you are in an item there is a Send To link on the right hand side.
  2. This drops down and you can see Refworks as an option.Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.23.17 pm
  3. Click Refworks
  4. You will need to log into Refworks if you aren’t already logged in
  5. The reference automatically imports and this screen appears Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 5.27.18 pm
  6. To view the reference quickly you can select View Last Imported Folder