Skip to Main Content

Resources for My Subject

CJBS Database Guide: Remote Access

The CJBS Database Guide is to help learners navigate business and financial databases offered by the Information and Library Services.

Raven and Shibboleth explained

You may well have come across the terms Raven and Shibboleth before, but they have specific meanings here at Cambridge (of course, they do!).

  • Raven is your University ID that will give you access to a wide range of online content provided to you by the University. From your VLE to University training resources, clubs, and societies. It is used widely across the University.
  • Shibboleth is the name given to an international standard single sign-on (SSO) login system that is widely used to manage access to online academic resources.

One function of your Raven ID is to act as your Shibboleth identifier while you are studying at or employed by the University.

You can explicitly login to Raven at the start of every session by going to the Raven login page. Many (although not all) sites you visit will automatically pick this up, so you won't be forced to login again.


The pains of logging in

Whether you're an experienced distance learner or it's the first time you've tried accessing electronic library resources away from Cambridge, let's face it, accessing this content can sometimes be messy, confusing and occasionally lead to bouts of uncontrollable swearing.

We know that you look for and access resources in many different ways. There isn't one right or wrong way to do this and no single source exists that's going to have everything you need. In this section, we're going to share best practices, tips, and strategies to help you get access to the information you need.

Where to start?

So, you've followed a link and arrived at a site, but you can't read the full-text. What do you do?

The first step is to look for any login options. All sites use slightly different terminology, but the majority will work using your Raven ID and password once you've found the correct route. Look for an institutional login link rather than a personal login. Check the page for wording similar to:

  • Institutional login
  • Login through your university
  • Check Access
  • Shibboleth
  • SSO sign in

Once you've followed these options you will usually be asked to search for your institution (we're listed as University of Cambridge). You should then be prompted for your Raven ID and password.

If access is available you'll be able to read the full content, but don't despair if this doesn't work. Depending on the type of information you're looking for there are other options.

Books and journal articles

As part of your research, you will be expected to read scholarly peer-reviewed books and articles. The best place to search for books, both print and electronic, is through the University's library catalog iDiscover. 

For academic articles, there are a number of different places you can search:

  • iDiscover is a good option, just ensure that you have click on the option "Articles and Online Resources" above the search box. Also, login with your Raven ID and password to give you seamless access to the online content.
  • We have a number of ejournal databases that you can search. Although a lot of the articles on here will be accessible via iDiscover, you will get different results searching directly in the databases. 
  • Google Scholar combines the power of Google search with academic resources. See our video below for linking your Google Scholar with the University's subscriptions for easier access.

Top tip:

If you find an article in one of the databases, but you can't get access to it, try searching for it in iDiscover as the full-text might be available in another database.

Industry and Market Research databases

CJBS Database page

The commercial providers of these industry standard resources are often not set up to support the academic sector in the same way as book and journal providers.

This means we often have to make the login process work in a different way. For these resources we recommend following the links from this guide or our databases page, rather than from a web search.

We embed code in these links that will identify you as a member of the University who has access and prompt you for your Raven ID and password.

Google Scholar

Scholar uses the power of Google searching to find academic content that can be locked behind the paywalls of academic publishers.

It is an excellent way of searching for articles relevant to your research but to get the most out of it you will need to tell Scholar you are member of the University.

This video shows you how to set library links to identify you as a member of the University. Once you’ve done this your search results will come with extra links that will take you behind the paywall and straight to the content you’re looking for.

© Cambridge University Libraries | Accessibility | Privacy policy | Log into LibApps