Skip to main content

Library Services



Library essentials for students and staff 2020-21

Accessing online resources

Library Services provides access to a wealth of online resources to support teaching and research which are available 24/7. You are advised to make use of our online resources, which UCL students and staff can access from off campus, via the Library Services website, using their UCL userid and password.

Please note that for many resources, Explore provides the only way to log in when you are off campus.

Quick Search: search Explore, UCL's online discovery tool, for online books, articles. databases, digital collections, archives, past exam papers, reading lists and content in our open access and research data repositories. In the search results screen, click on Online Resources, under Show Only in the column on the left, to view online content only.

Search Explore

Please enter some keywords

Accessing print resources

A number of our libraries have now reopened to enable you to borrow books via our Click and Collect Service. Please check our Opening Hours webpage for the latest information.

Borrowing and returning books

Books are listed in our online catalogue, UCL Explore, and it is possible to request books for collection in advance of a visit. Please check our published opening hours before visiting.  

Further information can be found on our Click and Collect webpage.  Books requested in this way will be held for you to collect and borrow within 3 days. Please bring your confirmation email with you to gain access to the library.

Returns can be made in person to libraries which have reopened. For returns of books to sites that are closed, these can be returned to the Main or Science Library or posted to our address listed on our contact page.

Recommending books for purchase

If you’ve checked Explore and we don't already have a book, you can recommend it for purchase by the library. Please complete the online form with as many details as you can and your suggestion will be passed on to the appropriate Subject Liaison Librarian.

Open Access Content

A wide range of Open Access content can be found in Explore, using the search box above. UCL Discovery (our institutional repository) and our Research Data Repository contain freely available versions of papers, books and datasets produced by members of academic staff at UCL both now, and in the past. Explore also includes content from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) which gives you access to Open Access content outside UCL.

In addition, there are now tools that allow you to search the web for trustworthy Open Access versions of content from inside your web browser. Just searching Google can bring up not only illegal copies of material, but also inadvertently support predatory and fake journals. The recommended tool is called Open Access Button. More information about Open Access Button is available here.