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Electronic Resources: FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an electronic resource?

Electronic resources can be an online version of something that also exists in print - for example journals and books - or they can be bibliographic databases indexing journal articles.  Often the database may contain full text journal articles, Emerald, SocIndex with Full Text, Psychology and Behavioural Science Collection, and General OneFile for example. You can also search databases for images, video, legal, financial and statistical information.

Which database should I use?

You can select your subject area from the A to Z Database List. Here you will find which databases are most suitable to search for information in your specific subject area. 

If you are looking for books and journal articles for a particular subject you can also use our single search tool - DISCOVER Search.  DISCOVER is a bit like using Google except that the results are only for our resources and therefore suitable for your college course.

How do I access databases?

The databases are listed alphabetically or by subject on the A to Z Database List.  Each database has information about its content and instructions for access off campus.

Can I use electronic resources on and off campus?

Most electronic resources (databases, electronic journals and e-books) can be accessed on and off campus using your college username and password.  For details on access requirements for each resource please refer to the information provided for each database and to the information on the A to Z of Journals Titles. 

Can I use Google to access electronic resources?

It is generally easier to follow a link from Library Online, A to Z of Databases or the Library Catalogue. Instructions for accessing each electronic resource are available on the A to Z Database List

If you access resources via a search engine rather than our links you can still log in, providing we have a subscription to that resource. 

From the option to log in or sign on on the resource page  look out for any one of these links (they all mean the same thing):

  • Institutional login

  • Remote Users: login via  your home institution/organization

  • Shibboleth login

  • UK Access Management Federation

  • UK Federation

You should then be asked what institution you are from, browse or search for Bradford College.  You will then be prompted for your College username and password.

What is an electronic journal?

An electronic journal is a journal made available in an electronic format. The journals available to staff and students of Bradford College in full text online are listed on the A to Z of Journal Titles. Some of these journals are electronic versions of journals that are held in the Library, in our print collection. Some are journals that the Library does not have in our print collection, but which are made available as part of a database collection - Emerald, General OneFile, Psychology and Behavioural Science Collection, Lexis are a few examples.

How do I access electronic journals?

You can search for journal articles by subject or author by using one of the databases for your subject area or by using DISCOVER Search.

If you have details of the journal article you can see if we have access to the full text online by entering the Journal title into the search box on the A to Z of Journal Titles. If we subscribe to the journal you will see one or more links to it and each link will give the dates (holdings) which are available through that supplier.

Why can't I access the full text online?

You may find that when you click on the link for the full text of an article, your access is refused. Please check the following:

  • You may need to enter your college username and password. Look for the "Institutional login" option.
  • Do the holdings listed next to the title on the A to Z of Journal Titles say that full text is available for the year/volume you want? Sometimes more years than we subscribe to are available on the supplier’s web site.
  • Some of our electronic journal subscriptions are only available to access on campus.
  • Do you need a special username/password to access the journal? Please ask at the Library Information Desk.  You will need to provide proof that you are a student or member of staff at Bradford College.

If you cannot access your chosen journal, and cannot see any reason why  please email providing details of the error message, the details of the journal you were trying to access and your contact details.

What is an e-book?

E-books or electronic books are electronic versions of printed books which can be read in full text via the Internet.

The Library has a growing collection of electronic books which are available from our main providers: Ebook Central and VLeBooks. The Library also subscribes to a number of electronic resources that provide the full text of reference titles (encyclopaedias and dictionaries) and core texts electronically, eg O'Reilly for HE Learning Platform.

How do I find and access e-books?

The easiest way to find and access e-books is to search the Library Catalogue, just like you would for printed books.

  • You can search by author, title or keyword.
  • You can also limit your search to just e-books by selecting E-book from the Item Type drop down menu.
  • If the book is available online click on the "Click here to access" link.
  • If you are off campus you will need to enter your College username and password.

Why can't I access the e-book?

There may be a number of reasons:

  • It might be that you are trying to access an e-book where we are limited to a certain number of users at one time. If you cannot access an e-book try again later, as it may be that the book is already being used by the maximum number of users.
  • Some titles have restricted access but allow you to reserve a copy in the same way as you would reserve a print book.   If the title you are using has reached its limit then you will be given the option to add yourself to a queue.  This reserves the e-book and you will receive an email when the book becomes available.
  • If you are using a MAC or iPad you will need to ensure that the default reader is Adobe Acrobat.

If you get an error message when you are trying to access an e-book, and cannot see any reason for it, please email providing details of the error message, the details of the e-book you were trying to access and your contact details.

Can I print or copy & paste from an e-book?

E-books are subject to strict copyright and digital rights management. Copyright Law allows you to print one chapter or 5%, whichever is greater, of an e-book. Most providers restrict the amount you can print and copy.

Can I download e-books?

You will need to download Adobe Digital Editions to your laptop or pc. If you want to download the e-book to your mobile device you will also need to install the Bluefire reader app.

You can download e-books from VLeBooks to a device which is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions.

Ebook Central allows you to download chapters or page ranges as a pdf document. It is also possible to download the entire e-book using Adobe Digital Editions for a designated period.

For more information view the ProQuest Ebook Central LibGuide 

Can I download e-books to my e-reader?

At present, you cannot download our e-books to a Kindle.

You can download e-books from VLeBooks to a device which is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions.

Ebook Central allows you to download e-books to other mobile devices and e-readers. You will need to have Adobe Digital Editions installed on the computer you use for the download. You can then transfer the document onto Adobe Digital Editions supported devices such as the Kobo and Sony eReader, or to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. 

For more information view the ProQuest Ebook Central LibGuide 

Can I read an e-book using a screen reader?

Ebook Central provides an accessibilty mode for use with screen readers which will enable the use of keyboard shortcuts and the provision of PDFs in a screen reader friendly format. Additionally the e-books can be downloaded and read using Adobe Digital Editions on any compatible device.

For more information view the ProQuest Ebook Central LibGuide 

VLeBooks online reader is compatible with screen readers that provide Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality, such as Read and Write Gold.  For software such as JAWS, NVDA and Claro Read, the e-book should be first downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions, as this software is not compatible with the VLeBooks online reader. 

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