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Online Reference

Access to Research

Access to ResearchWhat is the Access to Research Initiative?

The Access to Research service is a new initiative to give free, walk-in access to a wide range of academic articles and research in public libraries across the UK

Subjects include art, architecture, business, engineering, history, languages, politics, philosophy, mathematics and the sciences

All content provided is digital and can be accessed from your designated library terminal, via a search delivery service called Summon. This service is NOT available from a home computer or elsewhere.

The Access to Research initiative is only available in the UK.

Access to Research is available to the general public, and may be of especial interest to students in further education, independent researchers and small businesses.

Please follow the link to access this service - Access to Research

Why was the Initiative Launched?

Access to Research has been launched in response to recommendations from the Finch Group, a committee convened by the UK government, to explore how access to publicly funded research could be expanded.

One of the main recommendations of the Finch Group was that the major journal publishers should grant public libraries a licence to provide free access to their academic articles. The Access to Research two year pilot, starting January 2014, is the outcome of this recommendation.

How do I use the Service?

You can access academic articles from Access To Research in all Devon Libraries. Usage of the service is via an online search delivery service called Summon®. Users can search all resources with keywords, view results and access content through the publisher’s website, or refine and narrow the results set.

Six tips for effective searching

The software platform, Summon, provides an ‘intelligent’ search interface, similar to a Google search. You can type a combination of author names, article, title (or some partial words), or subject keywords, and the service should return relevant search results.

Whilst Summon tries to match your search, searching academic research journals is always going to be a complex activity, so take a systematic approach.

Using quote (“) marks to enter literal phrases can be a very effective way of improving your search. For example, compare searching “Richard III”; “Richard the Third”; or ‘ “Richard III” Shakespeare’.

Once a set of search results has been generated, it is possible to refine them by using the tools on the left-hand side of the Summon results page.

You can save the journal items that you find by clicking on the small ‘+’ button at the top right of each item in the results list.

Searching for information in academic journals may be daunting if you’re not used to it. You need to gradually refine your search and sometimes go back and start again if you’re not getting the results you think you should.