Support for researchers Support for researchers

The information here is intended for academic staff and postgraduate research students. If you are looking for support with assignments or undergraduate/masters dissertations, please visit our Information Skills pages and look at the Subject Guides.

In addition to supporting your research needs, the Library also provides Support for Teaching


The Library is a key partner in your research. We provide resources to help inform and enrich your research, spaces within which to work or collaborate, and training or advice. We also work with others in the University to ensure that your research outputs are visible and accessible to others.

We make available a wealth of information resources to support your research via the Library portal.This includes extensive journal literature, books and ebooks, a range of specialist databases, and special collections and archives. We can also facilitate access to resources held elsewhere.

Access to physical resources and a wide range of work spaces within the Library is via your campus card which can be used to get into the building 24hrs any day of the year.

Each school at UEA has its own academic librarian who oversees resource provision, provides support for staff and students and along with your school library rep is a key point of contact for you with the Library. The academic librarians contribute to the university’s PGR Personal and Professional Development (PPD) programme and can also provide training for academic and research staff.

The Library is part of the UEA’s Research and Innovation Division (RID) and works closely with Research and Innovation Services (RIN) <> and the PGR Service to ensure that the outputs of your research (publications, data, PhD thesis etc.) can be found and accessed by other researchers.

Frequently asked questions Frequently asked questions

How to find and use Library resources (search, subject guides, A-Zs)

You can find Library resources using the UEA Library Search, the Find Journal A-Z  and Database A-Z. The Subject Guides are also useful in highlighting key resources in each subject area. In addition, the Library manages several important archives, which you can explore via the Archives and Special Collections pages.

You can borrow up to 30 books and keep them for as long as you need them unless they are requested by someone else. The UEA Library uses the Library of Congress Classification scheme and there are summaries of this, along with floor plans, in the main stairwells of the Library.

Because our electronic resources are made available by dozens of different providers, the best easiest way to access them is through the Library Search or A-Z listings. The Library Access tool will also help – add this to your web browser and it will prompt you when you are on a site that requires a login. In addition to the general Library Helpdesk  there is also an Electronic Services Team <> who can answer any of your access queries.

How to access resources not held by the Library

If UEA doesn’t already have a resource you need and it’s not available via Open Access then we will try hard to provide you with access. This might involve buying in new books (via Book Suggestions), bringing in books or electronic copies of journal articles from other libraries (via the Interlending service), or we might be able to help with access to another library (chiefly, via the SCONUL scheme).


Book Suggestions

While Reading lists are the main route for requesting teaching materials, the Book Suggestions form is there to support your research needs. Please use this to place requests for books you need and that you think is likely to interest others or you may want to recommend to students. For urgent or very specialised research-related books it may be better to make use of the Interlending Service.



You can use the Inter-library lending service (ILL) to request any articles we don’t subscribe to or to access specialist books the Library doesn’t have. There is a an interlending page available within your personal Library Account (My ILL Requests in the drop-down menu) where you can make requests, manage your ILL loans and download any articles that have been supplied by other libraries.


Accessing other Libraries (including SCONUL scheme)

There may be significant collections of material held in other libraries that are relevant to your research and sometimes it will be more practical to visit those libraries – because of the volume of material or because it is unavailable for interlending. The Library Hub Discover service will help you to identify where books and journals are held across many of the major UK libraries (Note that this replaces two previous services called Copac and Suncat). Some libraries will require you to make your own visiting arrangements (e.g. the British Library, Oxford or Cambridge), but many belong to the SCONUL access scheme, where libraries open up their collections to staff and students from other scheme members. If you are trying to locate archival collections, then the National Archive’s Discovery service  may help you find them.

How to find Open Access publications and open data

Increasingly articles and books are being made openly available online – either on journal or publisher websites or via institutional or subject-based repositories. Many of these are now being indexed by the UEA Library’s search tools and so will be found in the Library Search – this includes sources such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (4.5 million articles) and the Directory of Open Access Books (22,000 books). And if you have the Library Access tool installed in your browser you will be directed to many more open resources when you are searching.

You can further widen your search for open access texts using these large directories and online collections:

CORE – 135 million open resources, mostly research papers

BASE  – 150 million resources, 60% of which are open (open content can be targeted in the advanced search)

DART-Europe – 800,000 open theses from across Europe

OATD  – more than 5 million international dissertations and theses (though not all open)

Internet Archive  – 22 million texts, mostly older out-of-copyright works, along with millions of sound and video recordings and websites

Hathi Trust <> – millions of out-of-copyright works

Increasingly data is also being made openly available by researchers:

DataCite -  finds data and publications in repositories

Open Access Directory (OAD) Data  - lists data repositories by subject

Google Dataset Search (Beta service) - Google’s emerging service for directing you to data available online.


Some very useful guidance on open research has  been produced by the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) covering open access publications, data sharing and open code.


UEA’s own open research outputs are accessible through the UEA repository <> and can also be found via the Research Portal <>.  UEA’s Open Access policies and provision are detailed on the Research and Innovation Services’ Open Access and Research Data pages.

There are efforts by research councils and other major funders to speed up the move from subscription journals to open access publications (“Plan S”) and this requires some big shifts for publishers and libraries. UEA Library has expertise in this area and is working nationally with other libraries to achieve as smooth a transition as possible. Contact your academic librarian if you wish to know more about this.


How to set up alerts to new publications

It can be a challenge to keep up to date with new publications, but this can be very important - especially if you’re engaged in a long research project or undertaking PhD research. Traditionally researchers have kept up to date by browsing new journal issues. The digital environment makes this more challenging but also opens up new possibilities of automating the process.

At the simplest level, you can usually register to receive email notifications from journal and publisher websites. You can also do this within the Library Search – searching on a journal title and then using the ‘Share’ button that appears with the search results to set up a regular email (or RSS alert for new articles. In addition to journal titles, you could also create alerts for authors you are interested or even for subject and keyword searches. Similar tools are available in many of the large databases UEA makes available.

UEA also subscribes to BrowZine, which you may appear in your Blackboard pages or can be accessed directly. This enables you to set up virtual bookshelves with journals of interest and receive notifications when new issues are available.

There are also independent table of contents and search alert services you can use, which will draw in journals and content that are not currently covered by UEA subscriptions:

Zetoc enables email or RSS alerts for more than 36,000 journals along with millions of conference papers

JournalTOCs enables you to receive tables of contents for 33,000 journals as new issues are published – although this is done through RSS rather than email, so you’ll need an RSS reader.

As social media is increasingly being used by researchers, there are opportunities to receive news of new publications using these tools, particularly facebook and twitter. Most journals and many prominent researchers or research groups now have Twitter accounts which you can ‘follow’ to keep up with new publications and events. Researcher sites such as ResearchGate,  Academia  and Mendeley also enable researchers to keep up with new publications.

Tools for finding influential publications (Bibliometrics and Altmetrics)

Now that there are very large directories and databases of publications, it is possible to harness citation and usage data to measure the impact and influence of particular articles, journals or authors. This approach is called Bibliometrics. Bibliometric measures are increasingly being used to value the work of researchers, but are subject to much criticism. They are only as good as the databases they draw on. High citation does not necessarily equate with high quality research. They focus more on articles than books and are more closely calibrated to patterns of publishing within the sciences than the social sciences or, particularly, the humanities. Because of this, there have been attempts to create alternative metrics, or Altmetrics. This can be done by adjusting the formulas used in common bibliometric measures or by looking for other measures, including mentions on the web and in social media.

Some Bibliometric tools can be found within Google Scholar, but there are more powerful tools available within two of the large bibliographic databases UEA subscribes to: Web of Knowledge and Scopus.  These enable you to navigate articles by citation, looking back at the works an article has cited and then forward to see where that article has been cited by others. They generate scores for articles and authors (h-index) based on those numbers. And a further tool, the InCites Journal Citation Reports  uses the Web of Science database to rank journals by their “Impact Factor”.

The Library’s Everything Search provides some Altmetrics with its search results, including social media mentions (look out for the links to PLUMX METRICS).

The Metrics Toolkit provides a very useful guide to some of the main Bibliometric and Altmetric measures (such as Impact Factor, h-Index, altmetric views), describing how they are calculated and looking at their pros and cons.

How to manage your references and downloaded resources

Managing references and folders of PDFs can be a challenge or chore and there are many different approaches that can be taken, from manually crafting your bibliographies to populating them with a couple of mouse clicks. Reference Management software can help. It can pull in references from the Library’s search tools and databases and also from other tools like Google Scholar; generate references and bibliographies quickly and in hundreds of different styles; and integrate well with programs like Microsoft Word. Some systems will also enable you to manage, search and annotate downloaded PDFs. Most will synchronise across different devices and enable you to access references via a web browser as well as the desktop software.

While UEA doesn’t endorse any one system, it does have a site licence to Endnote and makes software for Zotero and Mendeley available for use on UEA computers. If you want to use Endnote on your own computer you will need to buy a personal licence. Zotero and Mendeley are free to install and use anywhere.

Each of these three systems - and the many other free and commercial options - have pros and cons. So you may want to review their features, trial them and work out which will best suit your way of working. The Library offers courses providing an introduction to reference management software through the PGR PPD programme, which may help you in evaluating the options.

The Learning Enhancement service also have useful advice and training on referencing practices and ensuring that plagiarism is avoided <>.

Spaces for you to use within the Library

If you want a quiet space to work (or a noisy one!) then the Library has many options. All of the floors have desks you can work at and there are concentrations of computers available on floors 0 and 1. There are also many spaces you can book through e:Vision for individual study or for group work.


Research Postgraduate Reading Room (Floor 2)

PGR students have access to a dedicated room on floor 2 with desks, computers, lockers and a great view. You can access this room with your campus card and can borrow a locker key from the high demand area on floor 0. This is a space for quiet working.


Interdisciplinary Research Space (Floor 1)

The Library has also recently opened up a new space on floor 1, directly below the Research Postgraduate Reading Room, which can be accessed by all academic staff and PGR students via your campus card and used for discussions and meetings. It will also host occasional events for researchers. Timetables of these events will be posted at the beginning of each month and most will be open for attendance. When events are not scheduled – or if an event is only using part of the room – then it is available for use by others. You can access the calendar online, along with information about booking the room.


Archives and Special Collections reading room (Floor 02)

Some researchers may be using the Library’s Archives or its Special Collections and there are rooms on floor 02 where this material can be consulted. Microfilm and fiche readers are available within this space for those who need them.

Helping you to make your research available to others

In addition to helping you find and access resources to inform your research, the Library wants to ensure that your own research outputs can be easily found and used by others. It works with Research and Innovation Services (RIN) and the PGR Service to achieve this, supporting the University’s repository and research data initiatives, helping manage physical and electronic theses, and acquiring research publications.


UEA repository and data management provision

RIN manages the UEA’s EPrints repository  in collaboration with the Library and ITCS. The repository holds records of UEA’s research publications (including REF resources) and provides full, open access texts of many UEA research articles, working papers, chapters and monographs. Electronic PhD theses are also made openly available via the repository.  

Researchers can add content to EPrints via the PURE portal, which also manages researcher profiles and can be used to publicise research projects and outputs. There is detailed information available on this via the RIN Open Access and Research Data pages. These pages also highlight the ORCID ID. Establishing an ORCID ID will help UEA to link your research to you and will also enable you to achieve a better profile beyond UEA - it is used by some bibliometric and reference management tools to group your papers together, enhancing your bibliometric scores and enabling others to find your publications more easily.


Theses deposit

Since 2013, the University has required that two copies of the final approved and accepted thesis is deposited with the Postgraduate Research Office: one as a bound hard copy and the other an electronic copy in PDF format. The research degree cannot be awarded until this is done. The Library takes the electronic copy and places it within UEA’s repository so that others can access it from there (unless temporarily embargoed). The electronic copy is pulled from the repository into the British Library’s EThOS database so it can also be found alongside other UK theses.

Those preparing theses for submission should read the E-thesis FAQ for practical advice on matters such as copyright, emabrgos and filenaming.

Further advice and training

The Library’s academic librarians have a lot of knowledge about the areas covered above and may be able to provide you with some further support or direction. In the first instance you should contact the librarian assigned to support your school or subject area.

Librarians contribute to the University’s Personal & Professional Development (PPD) programmes.

The content varies across faculties, but might include some of the following:

  • Orientation to the physical building
  • Introductory and advanced use of UEA Library Search and specialist databases, including systematic reviews
  • Introduction to Open Access
  • Overview of reference management software
  • Bibliometrics and altmetrics
  • Use of social media, such as Researchgate, and Twitter
  • Digital skills and techniques (e.g. digital humanities)

While this training is aimed at PGR students, academic staff may be able to join sessions (subject to approval and availability of places) or can request other tailored training from the Library.