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Access Information

You can use Library search to locate physical and digital resources.

As a student at Staffordshire University, you may borrow up to 17 items. Full details regarding borrowing entitlements are available on the Library website.

How do I decide which books to read?

You need to learn to evaluate the books you read. Here are a few things to look for:

  • Scope - What is the purpose of the book - education, advertising, entertainment?
  • Breadth - What aspects of the subject are covered? Is the book focused on a narrow area or does it include related topics?
  • Depth - What is the level of detail provided about the subject? This may depend on the kind of audience for which the resource has been designed. The book could be aimed at A Level, undergraduate or postgraduate students for example.
  • Content - Is the information fact or opinion?
  • Sources - Are sources within the book listed so they can be verified?
  • Authority - What is the authority, expertise or credentials of the author?
  • Currency - When was the book last revised? This may give an indication of the book's durability.

The following websites offer further guidance on evaluating books:

Library Search guides

How can I find articles?

How do I find articles?

The University has subscriptions to services supplying full text journal articles. The best way of using these services is to from the Staffordshire University Online Library e-resources page.

You can use the Subject drop down list on this page to find the range of electronic resources in your subject area. For example, if you are a doing a marketing project you can select the Business column and then Marketing and see a summary of resources to support marketing studies.

For each e-resource you will see a summary of the contents so you can look for resources with full text articles. Follow the links to the e-resource eg Business Source Complete for marketing and then you can use key words to search for articles.

In some subject areas you may have to use an index to find articles. Indexes allow you to search for articles using key words and you can usually see a summary or abstract of the article. However to see the full text you need to find the article in the printed journal collection or the University e-journal list.

You may find the video on what are databases and why you need them, useful. 

Boolean searches are explained quite nicely on this page 

Use the Library search

You can also use Library search to look for eJournal articles. Enter your search terms into the box next to the picture of the man with binoculars at

  • Type in a keyword or multiple keywords and select search e.g. Forensic Science
  • On the left hand side of the screen you can see limiters which wil help you refine your search.
  • Use the limiters to narrow your search by Full Text, Peer Reviewed, Subject and Publication Date
  • To access the article select the article title or the link Full Text Online
  • You can access the article

If you cannot find the article in the print or electronic collections you can make a request through the Library Document Delivery Service. There is more information about Document Delivery on the Library website.

You could also try Google Scholar. Using Google's search engine technology Google Scholar retrieves bibliographic details of journal articles which the Library may stock.

We have a guide showing how to set up Google Scholar so it will search for articles that Staffordshire University holds.

For more information about finding and using journals you can contact your subject support team. There is a list of subject areas and contact names on the Library subject support page.

For advice on evaluating journals and magazines you can use the page on What type of information will help me?

Document delivery service

Finding resources which the library doesn't stock

If you are unable to locate a book, it may be possible to acquire it via the Document Delivery Service. This service is for requesting books, journal articles, reports and conference proceedings that Staffordshire University Libraries do not hold in stock and are requested via the British Library. Once registered, you will be able to select and order books for home delivery or request documents for delivery direct to your desktop. This service is free.

More information about the Document Delivery Service can be found on the Library website.

Using Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar is a fantastic tool to search for journal articles and all kinds of academic resources.

But did you know that you can also set it up to recognise Staffordshire University journals as well as having access to thousands of free high quality (open access) online journal articles?

Our guide to Google Scholar has instructions on how to do this, plus help on using an advanced search.