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Electronic resources: Accessing eresources

Online information about University Library and Collection's electronic resources.

Accessing eresources

Access to our electronic resources (or eresources) is determined by legally binding contracts that we sign when entering into an agreement with a publisher or provider. The majority of our licences define 'authorised users'* as:

  • Current students (undergraduates and postgraduates)
  • Members of staff

In addition, some licences allow access to 'walk-in users' - members of the public who are permitted access to the Durham network while they are in one of our libraries. Please see Information for Visitors for more information. 

*Authorised users are not permitted to provide access to other individuals.


Our online discovery tool provides simple, one-stop searching for books, ebooks, articles, theses, open access sources, archives, museum and special collections, images, recordings and news.

Reading Lists

Reading lists provide access to any ebooks or ejournals that have been recommend by your module leader. 

Subject Information Pages

The subject guides, produced by our faculty librarians, provide access to some of the key resources for your subject.  

A-Z List of Databases

An A-Z list to help you find the best library databases for your research. 

Authentication is a way to verify that users are entitled to access the subscribed-to content of a resource provided by a publisher or service provider. 


A large proportion of our electronic resources are accessed by way of IP recognition - service providers recognising the University's IP ranges. This means that if you are on-site, and connected to the University network, it is unlikely that you will need to login to access our electronic resources. In the unlikely event that you are asked to login, you will simply be asked to enter your CIS username and password.  

To access our subscribed content when off-campus, it is recommended that you do so via Discover, or one of the other points of access from within the library pages of our website. In doing so, you will be directed through the University's proxy server (EZproxy) and prompted for your CIS username and password. This will disguise your remote IP address with that of the University’s making it look as though you are accessing from a campus-based device.  


Shibboleth / Institutional Login

It may be possible to authenticate directly on a publisher’s website via Shibboleth - also known as Institutional login. This is a national system which enables access to web-based resources for the academic community. Although many different resources use Shibboleth, the wording of the links you need to click on may vary.  

To login in using Shibboleth.  

  1. On the providers site go to where it says Login or Sign On. This will usually be towards the top of the page. 
  2. Look for the sign-in option that says Institutional login or Sign on via your Institution
  3. If prompted select UK Federation, UK Higher Education or similar.
  4. Type or select our institution name: University of Durham (not Durham University)
  5. You should then be required to sign in with your Durham username and password

Please be aware that whilst we are working towards getting more of our providers set up to enable this as a route of access, not all publishers currently support or are set up for access via Shibboleth.  

Whilst the majority of our electronic resources are accessed using your Durham username and password, a very small number of providers require you to use a unique username and password to access their resources. A list of these resources and their accompanying passwords can be accessed via the links below. To access the list, you will be required to login with your University username and password. 

The usernames and passwords accessed from this list are for use by Durham University students and staff ONLY and should not be shared with anyone outside of our institution. 

The right to access e-resources ends when you finish your course. However, Durham Alumni can register to access some online resources.  


Access to JSTOR electronic journals is provided as part of our benefits package for Durham Alumni. However, Alumni access is via the Dunelm (Alumni Community) pages of the University’s website not via the library.

Any Alumni wanting to access JSTOR must first set up a Dunelm account by clicking on the Register/Password Reset option at the top right-hand side of the Dunelm homepage. 

To access JSTOR via Dunelm

  • Log in to the Dunelm website
  • Select Benefits from the top menu bar
  • Select JSTOR from the list of benefits
  • Click on the link that says You can access JSTOR here.

You should be directed to a JSTOR search screen that has Access Provided by Durham University Alumni Access across the top of the page.  

EBSCO: Business Source Premier

Durham University Business School graduates also have access to EBSCO's Business Source Premier.  Access is as above but by selecting EBSCO from the list of benefits.

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