Skip to Main Content

Resources for My Subject

Physical Sciences: Online library


As well as physical copies of books and journals the University Libraries subscribe to over 800,000 ebooks, 120,000 ejournals and a range of other online resources. Current members of the University can access these resources for free using their Cambridge credentials, both on and off campus.

Accessing e-resources

In order to access electronic resources off-campus you will need to login with your Raven password. This is issued to all staff and students when they join the University. To find out more, including what to do in the event of any problems, you can read the dedicated guidance on Raven.

There are a range of options available if you need to access electronic journals. The easiest way to find the content you need is to search iDiscover. Our colleagues in the ejournals team have put together a range of how-to guides to help you find what you need:

Searching for ejournals

Article searching in iDiscover

Shibboleth and inistitutional login

ejournal error messages

Checking journal holdings

You can find the full range of how-to guides on the ejournals blog.

Digital Library

The Cambridge Digital Library offers more than 500,000 images of more than 35,000 objects in our collections. This resource is freely available to all online and includes much of our special collections material.


JSTOR is an online database of over 12 million articles, books and other resources. You can access the full range of content that Cambridge subscribes to by logging in with your Raven ID via the Cambridge database link. You can find more information about databases on the Databases page of this guide.

Request a Digital Copy

Current staff and students can make use of our new service - Request a Digital Copy!

This allows you to request a digital copy of materials not currently held at Cambridge (subject to copyright restrictions). More information on how to use the service can be found in this guide.



iDiscover is the online catalogue for Cambridge Libraries. The search box below can be used to search for ebooks - try entering a keyword and click return. You'll be taken to the main iDiscover page where you can browse results and access ebook titles.  If you get lots of results, try using the filters on the right hand side of the page to refine items by date, author and subject. 

ebooks only all books

Cambridge University ebooks LibGuide

The easiest way to search for individual ebooks is by using iDiscover. If you would like to browse the ebook platforms and collections subscribed to by Cambridge University Libraries, the ebooks LibGuide is the place to go. The guide also covers ebook access, citation, copyright and FAQs.

Google Scholar

If you are doing a broad search, or want to look to multidisciplinary research, Google Scholar is an excellent resource. If you are accessing Google Scholar from off-campus, you may be asked to log into multiple journal pages. To streamline this, we recommend setting up Library Links. Library Links will cause an ejournals@cambridge link to appear next to search results. Clicking this will redirect you to a holding of this resource if Cambridge subscribes to it saving you from having to work out how to log in on each individual page. 

To do this:

  1. Go to Google Scholar.
  2. Select the three dashes in the top left-hand corner.
  3. Select settings.
  4. Select Library Links from the menu. 
  5. In the search bar type 'University of Cambridge' and hit return.
  6. Check the box marked University of Cambridge - ejournals@cambridge and hit save.

You can check out a video demonstration of this courtesy of our colleagues at CJBS Information Services:

Lean Library

It can be frustrating to find the perfect source online only to realise that you don't have access to it but help is at hand. Lean Library is a easy to install browser extension which searches for a version you can read through Cambridge subscriptions. If we don't have access then Lean will look for an openly accessible version or direct you to inter-library loan. All you need to do is download the extension, log in once with your Raven ID and you're all set. You can learn more about Lean Library in the video below:

Readers with disabilities

We continue to offer specialised support to library users with disabilities. If you have an enquiry or request please email the dedicated support helpdesk. Wherever possible resources will be provided in an accessible, electronic format. You can also use the SensusAccess tool to create alternative format documents if required.

Found a problem?

If you find a problem with any of the online journals or other resources you can use this online form to report it directly to the Ejournals team. Please be aware that the team is dealing with a high number of enquiries at the moment and will get back to you as soon as possible. You can also consult the eresources FAQs to try and find the answer.

Open Access

Open access to research outputs has never been more important. This process allows authors to make their research freely available to anyone online regardless of where they have published.

You can access open access materials from Cambridge researchers through Apollo, the institutional repository. This offers a range of information including articles, data, conference presentations and data covering everything from astronomy to zoology. You can also access content from the School of Physical Sciences community. If the content you want to see is embargoed (represented by a small padlock symbol) then you can use the Request a Copy service to send an email directly to the author asking to see the material. You can do this by clicking on the name of the file you wish to see. This copy is for your own personal use and does not infringe copyright. 

There are also other ways to access open content not stored in Apollo:

Open Access Button

Available as a browser extension or via a website, the Open Access Button searches for legal, open versions of paywalled research.


Harvesting open content from over 50,000 publishers and repositories Unpaywall is also available as a browser extension. It also integrates with popular databases such as Scopus and Web of Science.


The Directory of Open Access Repositories offers the ability to search for repositories according to country, discipline or type.

The Registry of Research Data Repositories focuses on collections of openly available research data.

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