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University of Stirling


How to find...

How to find books

The Library Catalogue Books and Journals search option is the first place to look for printed and electronic books in the library. See our guide below for more ways to search the library catalogue. Click the link in the 'What are you looking for? column to get more help.

What are you looking for?

Tab to use and any tips

Refine by options

Books: printed books at the Stirling or Highland library

Books and Journals tab, then enter a keyword (topic), title or author search

Use Location to limit to either the Highland Campus or Stirling Campus

Electronic Books which the library has purchased

Books and Journals tab, then enter a keyword (topic), title or author search

Use Format to limit to Ebooks

Journal Articles – only the full text ones

Articles tab, enter your topic(s)

Use Articles and limit to Full Text

Journal Articles – not necessarily full text

Articles tab, enter your topic(s)

It’s up to you! You may wish to limit by date of publication, language, peer reviewed status etc.

If there is no PDF link try clicking Check for Full Text button.

If the article is not available from the library use the Article Request service

Dissertations or Theses in the Stirling campus library

Books and Journals tab, then enter a keyword (topic)

Under the heading Format, select Stirling theses

Books in the Leighton Library or Western Isles campus

Books and Journals tab, then enter a keyword (topic), title or author search

Under the Location option select either Leighton Library or Western Isles Campus


Books and Journals tab, then enter a keyword (topic), title or author search

Under the Format option select DVD

Anything on my topic

Use Books and Articles tab, enter a keyword or keywords describing your topic

It’s up to you! You may wish to limit by date of publication, language, peer reviewed status etc

A specific Journal

Use Books and Journals tab, enter the name of the journal, e.g. British Journal of Management

Use the options under Format to limit to printed or electronic, then use the Found in option to limit to title.

Materials in the Stirling University Archive

Use the University Archive tab (Find our more about our Archives)


Materials in languages other than English

Use whichever tab suits your needs

Under the Language option select the ones you are interested in. NB, undefined results are usually in English, we’re working to improve this

A book with a one word title, e.g. Persuasion

Use Books tab, then title search

Limit by Availability or Format as you wish

How to use Moveable Shelving in the Library from Information Services on Vimeo.

Finding books

The library catalogue book search lists all the books, journals and other library materials available to you. The catalogue will tell you: if the library has the item you want, where it is located, whether it is a printed or electronic book and whether it is available.

Where to look for your book - Classmarks

When you have found a book in the catalogue, take a note of its location and its classmark. For example, the Location could be Stirling - Popular and the Classmark could be XC 4.21 WOO. Often the Library Catalogue will include a "Click for Map" link; if you click on this map link you will be shown a map of where your book is shelved in the Library.

The letters in the Classmark tell you the subject area, for example the classmark for biology books start with an X. You need the Location and Classmark to find out where the book is shelved in the Library - then use our Library floorplan to find the correct shelf.

Location in catalogue

Floor of Library

Stirling - popular

classmarks A - GS

Level 3

Stirling – popular

classmarks H - Z

Level 4

Stirling – long

classmarks A – MA

Level 3

Stirling – long

classmarks MA – Z

Level 4

Short Loan Collection

Level 2


Level 3


Level 4


Level 4

Teachers Collection

Level 4

In Popular Loan after the Classmark K


Level 4

In Long Loan after the Classmark X


Level 4

Near the North Stair Exit

Reference Collection

Level 4

Near the North Stair Exit


Level 4

Behind the North Stairwell

Electronic books can be accessed via the library catalogue. Look for and click on the link "connect to ebook".

If the library does not have the book you want, staff and students can make a suggestion for purchase, use the or visit another library. If the book you want is held at one of our other campus libraries you can request an intercampus loan.

Electronic books are listed in the Library Catalogue.

There are two main types of electronic books: those purchased by the university library to support teaching and research at the university (library ebooks) and those which are freely available online, (free ebooks).

Library ebooks

Electronic books which have been purchased by the university to support teaching and research are listed in the Library Catalogue.  These books can only be accessed by registered staff and students of the University of Stirling. To access the electronic books you must ensure that you log into the University Portal before you search the library catalogue. A guide to using our Library ebooks is available here.

Historic Books

Historic Books provides access to over 360,000 digitised historic books. It contains the collections previously known as Early English Books Online (EEBO) and Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). Historic Books can only be accessed by registered staff and students of the University of Stirling.

Free electronic books

An increasing number of books are freely available in full text online. In particular, you can find titles from before 1923 (since these texts are more likely to be outside copyright restrictions), although more recent books may also be available.

Below are a few of the useful sources for identifying the full text of books for free on the internet. If you are a lecturer and you identify a particular book for your students to use please notify your Senior Subject Librarian and we will catalogue the book for you.

Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
Electronic books on American literature, English literature and Western philosophy.
Has four main sections: Reference, Verse, Fiction and Non-Fiction. As well as searchable Author, Title and Subject indexes. Particularly useful for its reference section and pre-1923 titles. This site is for non-commercial use.

Free online texts of over 2000 classic works. Also includes some online study guides.

Biblioteca Digital Hispanica
From the National Library of Spain, digital resources including ebooks from their collections. Most, but not all, materials are in Spanish.

Celebration of Women Writers
As well as links to complete published books, also provides a comprehensive listing of links to biographical and bibliographical information about women writers.

Centre for French History and Culture's e-books
Source of free electronic books about France and French history from the University of St Andrews.

Collection of more than 600 medical textbooks, browsable by speciality or by title.

Google Book Search 
Allows you to search the full text of some books and discover details of others.

Hathi Trust Digital Library Provides access to more than 5 million ebooks. This digital repository is a collaboration between 60 research libraries across the USA and Europe.

National Academy Press 
Contains over 2,500 US National Academy science, engineering, and health texts free online.

Online Books
Facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet.

Project Gutenberg
Generally pre-1923 titles. Classic books from authors like Shakespeare, Poe, Dante, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Lewis Carroll.

Reading Europe 
Access to over 1000 literary treasures from 23 countries across Europe.

University of Michigan Digital Library Text Collections
Around 20 000 electronic books covering a wide range of topics.

If you wish to buy an electronic book, the service ebooklocator will help you discover whether and where you can buy a particular book.

How to find Articles by searching the library's Databases

Database Searching

  1. Find a database to search
  2. Devise a search strategy
  3. Find the full-text of the journal articles
  4. WebBridge
  5. What can I do if the articles I want are not available from the Library?
  6. What can I do if the books I want are not available from the Library?
  7. I can’t find any (or many) articles on my topic – help!

1. Find a database to search

A database is an electronic index to help you find journal articles on your topic of interest. Use the A-Z list of online resources to link to a database that covers the subject area you are interested in. If you don't know which databases to use, choose your subject from the list of Library Subject Guides. If you are not sure where to start the library catalogue article search may be useful - from one simple search box it allows you to search across many of the library’s electronic resources.

2. Devise a search strategy

Before you start your search read our successful search techniques advice. These hints and tips should help you retrieve relevant results quickly.

3. Find the full text of journal articles

The library databases often only provide the brief details and a summary of journal articles, or if they do provide the full text it may only be for some of the articles.

To find the full text of articles:

  • First check if the database provides the full-text by looking for a link to full text or PDF file of the article.
  • If the database uses WebBridge click on the WebBridge button to see if the full text of the article, or a printed copy is available from the Library.
  • If WebBridge is not available you should search the Library Catalogue to find out if we have access to the journal in paper or electronic format. Search the Catalogue using the title of the journal. For example, if your reference is:

Jones, A (2012) ‘A very interesting article’, Journal of interesting stuff, 45(3): 564-569

Search the catalogue for: Journal of interesting stuff 

Remember to check in the catalogue whether we have the correct year and volume for the article you are looking for.

  • Remember we don’t have the full text of everything. No Library could provide all the journal articles – there are too many! But see the ArticleRequest Service information below - as we may be able to obtain the article from another library for you.

4. WebBridge

How do I use WebBridge?

Simply look for the WebBridge button when searching in many of the databases offered by the library.

Whenever you see the Check WebBridge button, click on the button and a menu of options will open in a new browser window. You may then:

  • link to the full text of the article in an electronic journal, when the library has access;
  • search the library catalogue for the item.

How does WebBridge work?

WebBridge creates a shortcut link between a reference and the full-text. When you click on the WebBridge button, information about the article is transmitted to the WebBridge server. The server analyses the information, determines if and where the full text is available and creates the menu options.

Using WebBridge

While using WebBridge, you may encounter some problems or surprising results. Below are some situations you might come across.

Questions and Answers

Q Why do some links to full text not work?

There are many possible reasons why a full text link would return a "not found" or other error message. WebBridge might not able to construct a valid link because of incorrect or insufficient information is sent from the library database.

If the link to full text doesn't work or is absent, we may still have the item - see "I can't find an article using WebBridge - what do I do next?"

Q There is no full text link in the menu. Does that mean the article is not available?

A There are a number of reasons why there might not be a full text link. So it is always worth checking the library catalogue separately if you have had no luck with WebBridge.  Use the link to the library catalogue in the WebBridge window to double check if the library has a copy in print or electronic format.

See also "I can't find an article using WebBridge - what do I do next?"

Q Sometimes the full text link will take me to the article, but other times only to the journal. Why?

WebBridge gets you as close as it can to the full text of the article. However, how close it can get depends on the journal's web site. When this happens, refer to the reference details in WebBridge, then on the journal site browse the issues until you reach the full text of the article.

Q Why are there multiple links to full text?

There is overlap among the library's electronic journal collections and databases. That's why sometimes you will find that the full text is available from more than one source.

Q I can't find an article using WebBridge - what do I do next?

If you can't find a journal article, book chapter or book via WebBridge, there are number of steps to try next:

  • The library may still have a copy of the article. Refer back to the reference details in WebBridge and then check the library catalogue for the title of the journal or title of the book.

Q How can I stop the WebBridge window getting blocked by my pop-up blocker?

When you use WebBridge it opens a new pop-up window in your web browser. Some software automatically blocks pop-up windows (this is to stop many annoying adverts that appear this way). You may need to temporarily disable the pop-up blocker so that the WebBridge window can open.

To switch off the Internet Explorer pop-up blocker:

  1. At the top of the screen choose the Internet Explorer Tools menu, select Pop-up Blocker then Turn Off Pop-up Blocker
  2. Once you've finished using WebBridge you should switch the Pop-up Blocker back on again

Alternatively to allow pop-ups for a particular site you need to add that site to a list:

  1. From the 'Tools' menu select Pop-up Blocker then Pop-up Blocker Settings...
  2. In the Pop-up Blocker Settings dialog box type the web address in the Address of the Web site to allow text box e.g. for ScienceDirect or for WebBridge type
  3. Click Add then Close

5. What can I do if the articles I want are not available in the Library? 

Use ArticleRequest

ArticleRequest is a free service for students and staff to obtain journal articles that are not held electronically by Stirling University Library. Requests are sent to an international consortium of libraries that shares articles. If available, the article is emailed to you.

Make a request directly in ArticleRequest

  • First check in Stirling’s Library Catalogue that the journal article you need is not available electronically in our Library. If not available:
  • Then submit a request to ArticleRequest.
  • Choose 'University of Stirling', then enter your name and the number above the barcode on your Student/Staff ID card.
  • Fill in as many details about the article as you know (this will speed up the processing).
  • If the article is available via ArticleRequest you will receive an email with a link directly to the article PDF.
  • The link only remains active for 30 days so save your article straight away.

Your requests:

  • You can request articles that we only hold in print format or at another campus.
  • Typically 90% of requests arrive within 24 hours.
  • If an article is not available via ArticleRequest the library will automatically send your request onto the Document Delivery Service

If you wish, before you make a request, you can check if the item will be available by searching the ArticleReach Catalogue. If it is available then choose 'Request Article' in the ArticleReach catalogue.

Make a request in WebBridge to ArticleRequest

When using the Check WebBridge button in Library databases

– if no electronic version of the article is found at our Library, then the ArticleRequest link will appear in the WebBridge window.

  • First use the WebBridge links to Stirling’s Library Catalogue to check the article is not in our Library. If not available:
  • Then click the ‘Request article’ link.
  • Choose 'University of Stirling', then enter your name and the number above the barcode on your Student/Staff ID card.
  • The details WebBridge knows will automatically be added to the request form – add any other details you know.

If you have any questions about ArticleRequest, email 

6. What can I do if the books I want are not available from the Library?

If the book you want isn't available in Stirling's Library:

Visit Other Libraries 

Alternatively, you may be able to find the book or journal you require in another library.

The SALSER catalogue gives details of journals held in university libraries across Scotland and the SUNCAT catalogue gives details of journals held in libraries throughout the UK (see SUNCAT guides).

You can also check other libraries catalogues for books.

7. I can’t find any (or many) articles on my topic – help!

When you find it difficult to find many articles:

  • Try a different library database - choose your subject from the list of Library Subject Guides to see a list of databases for your subject.
  • Try the library catalogue article search - it searches a large number of databases all at once, this can give you new ideas for which database to use next
  • Think about the search strategy you are using - don't just type the title of your essay. Choose only the main keywords. Think about other words that describe the topic and use those as well.
  • See our page - to help you with your search strategy
  • Think about using other types of information - as well as journal articles, what about books, newspaper articles, encyclopaedias? Use the Library Guides by Subject to help you find other types of information.
  • You might have a very difficult topic - so contact us - see Ask a Librarian.

Contact us

If you have any questions or comments about any of these services please contact us.

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