Access electronic resources

Most of the library's electronic resources are available to use both on-site and outside of the University.

Access is controlled by authentication (login). This may differ depending on the resource publisher or service provider.

To help you gain access you should use the search tools and links provided by the library.

How to access electronic resources on-site

In most cases you will not need to login to use electronic resources when you are on-site and connected to the University network.

If you do need to login, you will simply be asked to enter your University username and password.

Occasionally a special username and password is required (see below).

How to access electronic resources when off-site

We recommend you use the search tools and links provided by the Library when accessing electronic resources off-site. In doing this you will be directed through the University's proxy server, known as EZproxy, and prompted for your University of Bristol username and password.

Alternatively, when attempting to access electronic resources by other means, e.g., using a direct link or a web search engine, many resources will prompt you for your University of Bristol username and password, while others will provide an 'institutional' or 'alternative login' link (often called 'UK Federation' or 'Shibboleth').

  • Please be aware the University of Bristol is found under the letter 'U' in the list of UK institutions.
  • If an 'Athens' or 'OpenAthens' login link appears, do not use it as the University does not use this service.

When working away from the University a range of options are available for off-site access to other University facilities and information. IT Services provides a guide on which services to use and when. Choosing the best option will depend upon what task you are trying to do.

Please note: the VPN will not allow you to access journal content remotely. This is because the VPN does not proxy requests. Your home PC will not be sitting within the University IP range but will register on publisher platforms as your home IP address. You will therefore not be recognised as a UoB member. To access journals and journal articles remotely, please access them via the Library website:

Special usernames and passwords

Some electronic resources need unique usernames and passwords. Please see the list of resources and login details (UoB access only).

Get It!

You will often find the Library's Get It! buttons A red button with text   or links to 'Get It @Bristol Univ' next to your search results in services such as the Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Copac, Zetoc and many other subject specific databases. Get It! buttons provide you with a menu of options to get items that are available to you as a member of the University. These options might include a link to the full-text resource online, a link to check Library Search for print holdings, or where these aren't available, a link to our Inter-Library Loans service.


For help or advice on accessing electronic resources, please email:

For subject-specific help, please contact your subject librarian.

For technical help, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Edit this page