Access to Research

Librarian FAQs

Information for librarians

Information for librarians

Where's best to start?
To get an overview of the service, listen in to the recorded introductory webinar (2014) about the service. This explains why Access to Research has been implemented, runs through the licence terms, and explains how the service works. 

Download the latest introductory webinar presentation slides (April 2017).

Do the search results show all publisher journals or just those included in the initiative?
The search results only show the journals included in the service. ProQuest's Summon, the search software, is the gateway to various publishers services, so when you go through to their sites you may see links to additional content that is not included in the service.

Are more journals going to be added to the service?
Yes, we are aiming to make the coverage as comprehensive as possible. Over 8600 are currently included (July 2014), equivalent to more than 10million articles. You can browse all journals included here.

Which publishers are taking part in the initiative?
The publishers who are currently participating in the initiative are listed here. They include the major journal publishers.

Does the service include Open Access articles?
Whilst the scheme is primarily about providing free, walk-in access to articles from subscription services, some Open Access (OA) journal articles are included in the journal collections provided by individual publishers.

For the avoidance of doubt, the terms and conditions applicable to any OA articles that appear in the service are not limited or restricted by the terms and conditions that apply to the service as set out on the Access to Research home page.

How to search effectively

Once I have done a search, how do I navigate back to the search page to start another one?
If you are in the Summon search results page, you can click on the PLS logo at the top left-hand corner and this will take you back to the search page.

If you are on a publisher's journal page, you will need to click on the ‘Access to Research’ browser tab. This will have stayed open because the Summon search results page opens in a new tab.

I've completed a search inquiry and have clicked on a link for related information and come up against a paywall, why has this happened?
We have over 8,600 journals included in the service, but inevitably not every article in every journal has been made available for free access. So, once you are on a publisher’s websites you may well see links to journals and related content that are not included in the scheme. To view other content identified in your search that is included in the scheme, you will need to return to the Summon search result page.

A user has done a Google search and my library name is displayed in the heading of the publisher’s webpage, does that mean the content is part of the service?
Not necessarily. The publisher’s ‘authentication servers’ have been set up to recognise your library’s IP addresses and they use these to control your access to content. For example, some e-books are accessible this way but they are not part of the service.

I know a particular journal is part of the scheme, then why is one of its articles not coming up in the search results?
Publishers often have an embargo period for articles published within a particular date range. If you are unable to find an article, it is likely that it is covered by such an embargo. This is usually for either very old or very new research.

For journal content, the best way to confirm whether it is part of the scheme is to use the ‘Browse journals’ link on the landing page.

How to demonstrate the interface to library users

What's the best way to demonstrate the service to a library user?
Access to Research is already a rich source of knowledge. It currently provides access to over 8,600 (July 14) high-quality journals from the world's leading publishers.

However, the service is not comprehensive in the way Google is. So, we suggest it might be more productive to start with browsing the journals. This shows you the subjects that are covered, as well as the publishers that have provided information.

Is there are guide to using the service with sample searches?
Yes, we have created a practical "How to" guide for use by Librarians, which explains how to get the most out of the service. Please email us to request a guide.

Training on using the service
If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us here.

Promotional materials for librarians

The following promotional materials are available to librarians to help promote the service:

A4 poster (portrait)
FAQ booklet
Desktop icon and installation instructions

Examples of promotion
Quiz template
Quiz background information
Best practice checklist

About the service
Librarian FAQs

Case study
Success story: how A2R helped a children's reading charity set up

Usage stats

Can I get usage stats?
We are collecting stats on usage. If you would like to find out more, please contact us here.

How do I report bugs?
We would be very grateful for feedback on any issues you encounter. Please send screen shots (which can be taken simply using the "printscreen” button on your keyboard) with URLs to us here.

What are the terms of use?
For details of the full licence for the initiative, click here. Please note that this licence is for local authorities to complete on behalf of their libraries.

Find out more: