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Cambridge Libraries


Access to e-resources

General help and guidance

E-resources (including e-books, e-journals, databases, and other types of resource) provided by Cambridge University Libraries are accessible to current members (staff and students) of the University of Cambridge both on campus and off campus. 

When on campus, e-resources can be accessed seamlessly from within the University Data Network (formerly Cambridge University Data Network).  Library e-resources are findable in the catalogue iDiscover or via the e-resources home page or via subject LibGuides.  Help with Login to the iDiscover catalogue is available here.

Accessing e-resources off campus (away from Cambridge)

When off campus, for e-resources you find on these sites you will automatically be linked via an EZproxy service that prompts you to login with your Raven username and password.

If you find e-resources on other sites (e.g. Google Scholar; publisher websites) you will need to find the Shibboleth link in order to access the e-resource if it is available from Cambridge University Libraries.  You will be asked to select your Shibboleth federation which is always the UK Access Management Federation and to select your institution (University of Cambridge) and then, on the Raven authentication screen, enter your Raven username and password.

This method of authentication can be prone to problems and is time-consuming.  We recommend installing either the Lean Library or LibKey Nomad browser extensions – or both – which will automatically re-route you through the EZproxy service.  These extensions only require a single Raven login for each new browser session.

For any help or support you may need, please don’t hesitate to contact us via or our Problem report form

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Though it is not necessary to access e-resources off campus, you may find it helpful to use the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provided by the University Information Services (UIS).  A VPN connection replicates your access as though you were connecting from with the UDN (see above).  For information on obtaining a VPN please visit this page.

Alumni access to e-resources

Alumni of the University can access e-resources provided by the Development & Alumni Relations on the Cambridge Alumni website.

Retired members of staff, students intermitting, and others

For rules governing access to e-resources please see sections 15, 16, and 17 of the University Library Rules of the Library.


Terms & Conditions of Use

Use of e-resources is governed by copyright laws and individual license agreements that are legally binding agreements between the publisher and the University as to what can and cannot be done with an e-resource.  The agreements define specific terms of use and restrictions under which individuals can use the e-resource and Cambridge University Libraries may make access available to University members, whether on and off-campus.

All individual users must comply with the specific Terms of Use or License Agreement for each e-resource. University members individually responsible for their compliance with the terms and conditions of use.

Terms & Conditions applicable for all e-resources

The use of e-resources shall only be for educational purposes, study, teaching, and research.  The use shall not be for commercial gain.

Downloading and printing from digital resources is covered by copyright law and licence terms. In general, only one copy of one article may be downloaded or printed from an e-journal. Downloading or printing multiple copies or whole journal volumes is not permitted. For online databases users should consult the individual licence terms for each resource.

For further important rules and restrictions on passwords and content please ensure you read and comply with: 

Terms & Conditions for Use of E-resources Licenced by Cambridge University Libraries

In accessing and using e-resources provided by Cambridge University Libraries you agree to abide by: 

Declaration for use of e-resources licenced by Cambridge University Libraries

Use of Cambridge University Libraries' IT facilities

Use of Cambridge University Libraries' IT facilities is governed by the rules made by the University Information Services and shall be only in accordance with the terms of the JANET Acceptable Use Policy 

Consequences of misuse of e-resources

Use of e-resources is monitored by publishers and service providers.  Misuse of e-resources may result in a breach of licence agreement terms & conditions by the licensee (the University).  A breach typically results in suspension of access to e-resources for all members of the University. 

The University Library is alerted to this suspension of service and undertakes to investigate the breach, restoring access as soon as possible and ensuring non-recurrence.

It is important terms & conditions of use of e-resources are observed by the University to avoid any loss of access and breach of licence terms with publishers. 

Text & data mining

Text & data mining (TDM) is a process by which large amounts of information can be analysed electronically, allowing researchers to work through more research content than would ever be possible manually.   Please see our LibGuide on TDM for guidance on the law enabling TDM in the UK

Please visit this page for important information regarding certain publishers and what they permit for text & data mining.