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If you are new to the University please complete the online registration form so that we can set up a Library Record for you. 
Please take this opportunity to book an appointment with your Information Specialist.  
As well as the information available here, we would recommend you access the following LibGuides:

The University has a subscription to SensusAccess software for all Aston University staff and students to convert files to more inclusive and accessible formats: 

Make your publications 'Green' or 'Gold' Open Access to:

  • Ensure they are eligible for inclusion in the next REF
  • Comply with your funder requirements
  • Increase the readership of your research outputs

Visit the "Open Access publishing for Aston authors" LibGuide 

Aston's  Open Access Policy and Code of Practice (inc. Guidance)

Managing your Research Data effectively is increasingly important to:
  • Engage in good research practice
  • Comply with your funder requirements
  • Share your data for re-use

Visit the Research Data Management LibGuide

Citation databases are key tools in demonstrating the impact of an individual published paper or of a researcher's body of published work. They can be used to:
  • Demonstrate the impact of an article by the number of times it has been cited since it was published (citing references)
  • Use the author's references (cited references) to find the research that underpinned his or her work
  • Find related work in a field of research
  • Track the work of colleagues or competitors
  • Track the development of a theory
  • Identify influential (highly cited) papers and researchers or research groups

As no single database will contain complete information on who has cited a particular work, it is advisable to use multiple sources.

To find out more please view the Measuring Research Impact LibGuide.


Attend our summer series of Research Bites seminars for a quick refresher on a single topic or a comprehensive updating of your information and research skills.
Click on this link to access Aston Publications Explorer, Aston Data Explorer and Aston Research Explorer

The quality and diversity of information sources are wide ranging. From search engines to subject gateways to electronic databases, students have a vast amount of information before them. Library Services (LS) can help provide students and staff with the information literacy skills they need to successfully identify and use these services in support of their assignments and project work.

To make information skills sessions work for you and your students they should be:

  • integrated into the course through careful planning
  • appropriately timed to ensure that the skills acquired can be put into practice immediately
  • focused on the subject content relevant to students at that point in their course
  • structured to ensure progression to more complex sources and services
  • designed to provide students with the skills to critically evaluate the information retrieved

LS can help you achieve these things. We offer a successful induction programme which reaches over 90% of new students. We also aim to ensure that our research and information skills sessions reach larger numbers of students too. Information literacy sessions can help improve research and critical skills. They can help students to improve their marks and provides invaluable experience for future professional careers.

LS can provide you and your students with tailored information skills sessions. Examples of what we do include:

Introductory sessions

Using Library SmartSearch – find books, journals, electronic resources and general library information.

Research and project skills

Using Library SmartSearch.

  • Develop systematic search strategies (keywords, Boolean logic, strategies to refine and focus search results etc.)

  • Know how to use full-text and/or bibliographic databases.
  • Find company and market information, scientific and technical information, foreign language services, statistical information.
  • Citation searching using the citation Indexes.
  • Using full-text newspapers (online and WWW).
  • How to use search engines, subject gateways and evaluate Internet resources.
  • Recognise plagiarism and reference correctly.

Current awareness

  • Keeping up-to-date using current awareness services

Managing bibliographic references

  • Bibliographic referencing software
  • How to cite references

As students progress through their course, formal sessions can be supplemented with drop-in sessions, refreshers on specific services, etc.


Planning information skills sessions into your course/module

Information skills sessions can be readily incorporated into the courses/modules for which you are responsible. Please do contact your Information Specialist, who will be pleased to work with you to tailor sessions to the needs of you and your students.

  • Please use any browser other than Internet Explorer. 
  • You can look for the module code or the name of the module in the search box. 
  • Select the 2017/2018 version of the reading list to view the reading materials.        

Each Blackboard module now has a Readings menu item which creates a one stop shop for Academic and Library staff to manage reading lists in a consistent way, and for students to access them easily via My Module Reading Lists.

Please log in to the Module Reading List system via MAP or here and update your lists annually. 

Information on how to do this can be found on the Aston TLC website. Adding new books to the list will alert Library staff to purchase them. Journal articles and web pages can also be linked to directly.  Digitised documents for your Blackboard module can be requested via the Reading Lists system (Talis), or via your Information Specialist.

For more information about these services, or if you would like any help in finding books for your module, please contact your Information Specialist.

If you would like to recommend a book for the Library to purchase, please complete the online form or email your Information Specialist.  Our Information Specialists will purchase any books which are in support of the teaching, learning and research needs of the University depending on budgets available and whether or not the item is still in print.  If the book you have requested is not yet published, the order will be kept on file and processed once publication is confirmed.

When you ask Library Services to order books please remember the following key points:

  • On average it will take a month from Library Services ordering a book to it being on the shelf.

  • Truly urgent orders can be obtained much faster – please tell us if this is the case.

  • Give requests to Library Services as far in advance as possible.  

Further information on book supply times.
Library SmartSearch

Library SmartSearch allows you to search across all of our subscribed printed and online resources while LibGuides provides guidance on subject-specific material. Use our A-Z lists to link through to a specific database or e-journal.

Following links to resources via these routes will direct you to a login page for on and off-campus access.  However, some users may still prefer to use a browser-configurable proxy service when they are accessing subscribed resources from off-campus. Please refer to the instructions below on how to configure your browser to use the automatic proxy method:


You can borrow 35 books.

Further information is available about returning, renewing, reserving, and our Inter-library Loans service.

Copyright is important because it protects the interests of those who create so you need to take care in referring to others' work to avoid plagiarism or infringements.  Please check the guidance.

Aston University is a member of the SCONUL Access reciprocal scheme, which allows full-time postgraduate / postgraduate research students, academic staff, and part-time, distance learner or placement students to visit most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland and use or borrow books.

We are a member of the Mercian Collaboration, a professional network formed from SCONUL higher education libraries in the East and West Midlands of the UK. 

Find out more about our policies, regulations and performance standards

Library Record
Inter-Library Loans
Contact Us