Skip to Main Content

Library Services



Explore: Finding books, journals and more

A guide to searching Explore and managing your UCL library account

Searching UCL Explore

In this section you will find information on searching Explore, including details on how to use the different functions available:

A search for journal articles and other full-text resources in Explore will find results from a wide range of sources. In some cases, though, it may be better to search UCL's subscription databases individually, such as where some of the content of a database is not covered in Explore.

How are Explore's search results ranked?

Explore uses a complex ranking called ScholarRank which is tailored to the academic environment. It starts by ranking results according to the presence of your search terms in their author/title etc. Then it ranks materials more highly if they are known to be more well-respected/used by academic users.

The ranking algorithm means that your search results might not be replicable by others, so Explore might not be the best tool to use if you are undertaking a Systematic Review.

Databases with content not covered by Explore

The content of the databases below is not included, or is only partly included, in Explore. Some results from these databases will appear in Explore, but for a comprehensive search please search the databases individually.

  • America: History & Life
  • American Film Index Catalog
  • Art & Architecture Source
  • CINAHL Plus
  • Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source
  • EBSCO eBooks Collection
  • EconLit
  • Film Index International
  • Historical Abstracts
  • Library & Information Science Source
  • Nexis UK
  • PEP - Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing
  • PsycExtra
  • Safari
  • SPORTDiscus

Databases for which you need to be logged in to Explore

Please note that you need to be logged in to Explore to include search results from the following databases:

  • ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM)
  • C.H. Beck Journals
  • Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI)
  • FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals Database
  • GeoRef
  • Humanities Index (BHI)
  • International Bibliography of Art (IBA)
  • Japan Society of Applied Physics Journals
  • PAIS Index
  • Physical Society of Japan Journals
  • PTSDpubs
  • Russian Central Newspapers
  • Russian Regional Newspapers
  • Scopus
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • Web of Science - Arts & Humanities Citation Index - 1989-
  • Web of Science - Science Citation Index Expanded - 1989-
  • Web of Science - Social Sciences Citation Index - 1989-
  • World News Connection - South Asia
  • World News Connection - Western Europe