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Chemistry Library


How to access online resources remotely

Remote access to online resources (i.e. journal articles, databases, ebooks) during the COVID-19 outbreak

  • You should be able to access these remotely using your Raven login, without the need to use the Chemistry Department VPN service.
  • We strongly recommend that you use iDiscover in the first instance to find the online resources you need, rather than trying to get access to content directly on a publisher website for example, which will not always recognise you as a being member of the University. The Engineering Library has produced this great video which demonstrates how to use iDiscover. There is also an iDiscover LibGuide.
  • Wherever you click on a green 'Online access' link in your results on iDiscover (whether it is to an article, ebook or database) you will be taken to the Raven authentication page. Once you have signed in, you will stay signed in until you close the browser window.
  • Publishers are providing access to certain e-resources, including e-books, during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Access to additional e-resources during COVID-19 outbreak website provides information on the e-resources newly available to assist you. It will be updated as further e-resources become available.
  • The cambridgeebooks LibGuide is a really handy central place where you can see what ebooks have been made available for free to the University during the COVID-19 lockdown (as well as those which we own permanently). You can browse by publisher. Platforms opened up for COVID-19 are indicated with a green virus icon. Not all ebooks can be made available via iDiscover, so search there first and if what you want isn't there, try this LibGuide.

Online journals

  • In iDiscover, click on the button for 'Articles and online resources' and enter your search term in the box (journal article or journal title), then click on the magnifying glass icon to perform the search. 
  • You can also click on the 'E-journal Search' link at the top of the page to search for online journals by title. 
  • In either case, click on the green 'Online access' link to get access via your Raven account.

Top Tip - install the LeanLibrary plugin 
LeanLibrary delivers to your desktop the article or chapter you want seamlessly if Cambridge University Libraries provide subscription access, regardless of where you are accessing it from (on or off campus).

Top Tip - install the Google Scholar Button. When you search Google Scholar for articles, 'ejournals@cambridge' links are displayed that will take you to the full-text (if the University has a subscription). The Engineering Library has produced this great video which demonstrates how to set this up.

Top Tip - install Open Access Browser Plugins 
A third to a half of articles have an Open Access version, but finding them can be a challenge. Save time with these easy-to-install OA discovery tools that search repositories, preprint servers, etc. for you.

Online databases 

  • In iDiscover, click on the 'Databases A-Z' link at the top of the page to find and access databases the University subscribes to. You can refine it by subject e.g. chemistry.
  • See also our List of useful databases for chemists.
  • Please note that SciFinder always requires you to use your SciFinder account to get access, please go to the SciFinder login website to register for an account if you haven't already, and to access it if you have.


Top Tip - "Online access restricted to designated PCs in the main UL + affiliate libraries" on iDiscover.  You may find records on iDiscover that state this. It refers to electronic legal deposit content that is supplied to the university by publishers. You can request e-legal deposit material to be printed for you (cost £2) via the University Library's Scan & Deliver service.

Is the book chapter or journal article you need not available anywhere in Cambridge? 

We can attempt to make requests for you via our Document Supply account with the British Library. However, the British Library is currently only able to supply a limited type of content, and requests for COVID-19 related material take priority. However, there are various ways we can help you access online journal articles, please ask us at One common way of getting journal articles or book chapters is to contact the author directly and ask for a copy, for example.

Scan & Deliver

You may find that a book chapter or journal article is only held in printed format at Cambridge University Library (the UL). The UL is operating a free Scan & Deliver service (request scans of book chapters and journal articles from printed collections held at the University Library). It is hoped that more libraries will be able to deliver similar services in due course.

Reading on screens

We are all reading online much more than ever before, and particularly in the current coronavirus crisis, we are very reliant on electronic materials. Reading on a screen is a different experience to reading print materials, and while this undoubtedly suits some people, many others may find an increase in screen-reading difficult. This Reading on screens LibGuide shows you how you can make reading online easier, gives advice on how to take notes, and offers hints and tips for reading ebooks.