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Guide for weekly class students: Finding information on the internet

A guide to library services and resources for weekly class students

Free e-books

Many out-of-copyright books are freely available. Try the following sites:

Public Library resources

Reference material

Most public library authorities give members access to a range of online reference material. You can access much of this at home using your public library card.

Oxfordshire's Reference Online resources include:

  • British Library Newspapers Collection (nineteenth century Britian)
  • Grove Art Online and Grove Music Online
  • Litfinder world literature collection
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • Oxford Reference Online (a collection of OUP reference works)
  • Times Digital Archive 1785-1985

Other public library services will provide similar resources. Find your lcoal library service on the UK.Gov website

Journal articles

Access to Research logoAccess to Research is an initiative which provides free access to academic e-journals in public libraries. Note that you cannot access them at home, only in libraries. You can find a full list of partcipating libraries as well as information about the journals included on the Access to Research website

OUDCE Open Resources

OUDCE Open Resources is a collection of freely available resources created or collected by OUDCE tutors. Your tutor may have created an area for your course and given you the link to it. If s/he hasn't, you can still use the collection to browse or search by subject or keyword for material on your topic.

There's more to life than Google!

If you are looking for information on the internet, don't just Google it! Whilst Google has its uses, you can end up with vast numbers of results, many of which are irrelevant. It can also be quite difficult to judge the quality of the information.

This page introduces some alternative ways of finding good quality, freely available information.

If you are interested in finding out more about searching and evaluating information on the internet in general, try:

Further tips and resources

  • Digital.Bodleian A portal giving free access to the Bodleian Library's digitised collections covering all subjects and types of material.

  • University of Oxford on iTunes U Listen to lectures delivered by University of Oxford academics. If you don't have access to iTunes U, you can listen via your web browser, link on the site. Includes material from OUDCE events and courses.

  • Instead of Google, try Google Scholar. This will help you to find academic material, and reduce the amount of irrelevant results. If you use Google Scholar in the Library via SOLO, results will be linked to Oxford University full text holdings where available.

  • Try websites of organisations or societies connected to your subject. Many may give access to their own publications and other useful information

  • Try the websites of relevant museums or art galleries. As well as images, many will give detailed information on collections, access to research reports and publications etc