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Library Research Support & Services: Sources of Information

The library subscribes to many specialist resources such as digital maps; company and legal information; research literature databases; journals and more.

Primo Library Search

Primo is the gateway to these resources and is also the Library's catalogue of books and journal holdings.

Further advice on using Primo to check your Library Account; renew and request loans; advanced search etc:

Your Information Specialist

For literature searching, researchers should delve deeper than Primo's basic 'quick' search and go direct to specialist databases and other tools for locating literature beyond the Library's collection.  Start by browsing the links on this page.  For advice on use of these tools, please contact your Information Specialist.

‚ÄčMs Sam Brown Senior Information SpecialistMrs Kim Davis Information SpecialistMrs Kerri Daymond Information SpecialistMr Chris Johns Information SpecialistMrs Kate Russell Senior Information SpecialistMrs Nicola Tricker Information SpecialistMrs Amanda Southam Senior Information SpecialistShelagh Nott Information Specialist

University of Plymouth University Library Resources

Print & Ebooks:


The library has also bought a number of electronic books which are indexed at title level in Primo.  E-books can also be searched using the links below:

Beyond the Library's Resources

open access lock

Open Access refers to legally accessible, free of charge access to published research outputs.  The journal article .pdfs we view through Primo, specialist library databases or the majority of Google Scholar hits that deliver full text, are available to us because the Library pays an annual subscription payment to the publisher.  If we did not pay these large annual fees, the articles would be paywalled to us.  

Public money is used to fund research grants and there is now a growing Open Access movement to ensure that the public can also access the outputs of these grants without additional charge.  Many funders are now requiring authors to make their work openly available.  As a result, authors are making versions of work openly available via institutional repositories  - this is called the 'green' route to Open Access and is chosen when there are no funds to publish openly on the publisher's site.  The publisher's site may be paywalled, but a 'green' version is available.  

New tools have been developed to identify 'green' versions of paywalled content and deliver them straight to your desktop:

Below are some Open Access search engines and browser extension tools that will hunt for legal versions of immediate full text of articles.  Simply look for articles in your usual way and when you find an article you wish to view, the browser tools will pop up on your screen indicating if full text has been found.  These are ideal tools to use in conjunction with the Library's full text subscriptions and before placing an Inter Library Loan.

open access lock

The library can usually obtain a particular book, journal article or conference proceeding that isn't in our collection from the British Library as an inter-library loan (ILL).  There is currently no charge to you for this service but please bear in mind that it is an expensive service to maintain so please only request items essential to your research.  (Requests for material that we have in stock will not be fulfilled).

You can submit an ILL request via Primo:


This is a reciprocal borrowing scheme between most higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland.  As a postgraduate student or staff member you can apply to use another library.

For more details and to apply, go to

Your library account must be clear of any overdue books or charges.

Once you have submitted your application online you will receive an acceptance email. Print this off and take it to the library you wish to visit.  You will also need to take your University of Plymouth card.

Further information the SCONUL scheme for UoP members.

  • EThOS: British Library catalogue of UK PhD Theses

Many theses are digitised and available for immediate download on the BL's EThoS website.  Register directly with EThoS to access.  Some theses are available as abstract only and users can request that the  BL digitise them.  There may be a cost involved in this process so if you come across a non-full text thesis with a cost for digitisation, please follow the Inter Library Loan process and the University Library will assess whether this cost can be met.  More details on this process.

Grey literature is often not indexed in traditional library databases of book and journals.  It can include public sector, government, charity, special interest group, NGOs, think tanks, business, industry and academic reports, papers and ephemera. It may not be peer reviewed or officially published. See below for some suggestions for identifying grey literature:

Library Subject Guides may have more subject specific links to different sources of data e.g. market reports and statistics in the Business Libguide.  Contact your Information Specialist for advice on tracking down information in your field.