Getting Started with the Online Library

Your Study Programme Gateway

Your Study Programme Gateway is the page on the Library website tailored towards your particular programme. On your Study Programme you will find guides, updates and a list of information resources (‘databases’) that contain information relevant to your programme. 

Databases contain resources such as ebooks, articles, company and market data, legal cases and other resources. Click on a database's name to read a description of what it contains. Click on the key icon next to the database's name or the 'Login' button on a database's page to log into that database.


Searching the Online Library

There are different ways of finding content in the Online Library. 


You can use the ‘Summon’ search box on the Online Library home page or your Study Programme Gateway to search across most databases either for specific items such as books and articles on your reading lists, or to search for information on a particular topic. When you find something in Summon you would like to read, click the ‘Full Text’ link in Summon and then you will be asked to login, if you are not already logged in. See here for Help searching Summon

Summon does not search for cases or legislation, you will find them in vLex JustisWestlaw and Lexis+. Find out more in our Legal Research Guides. 

A-Z Journals List

If you are looking for a publication such as a journal, newspaper or law report series, you can look up the title of the publication in the A-Z journals list. This can be useful if you would like to browse a whole publication rather than find a specific article, or if you are trying to find something that you cannot find using Summon. If the publication is available in the Library the A-Z journals list will tell you which database(s) the publication is available in and the date range available in each database. You can access the publication by clicking a database name.

Database searching

You can also search a database directly by logging into it from your Study Programme Gateway and using the search function within the database. You can do this if you don't find what you are looking for in Summon, or if you wish to use the advanced search features within a particular database.


Logging in

You can log into almost all Online Library resources with your Student Portal username and password. This is the same username and password you use to log into the Student Portal. If you are not already logged in, you will be prompted to login when you click on a search result in Summon or on a database login button on the Online Library website. Select 'University of London Online Library (Distance Learning)' and then enter your username and password. See our Login FAQs for help with logging in. 



Most of the Library’s eBooks are found in the VLeBooks and E-Book Central databases, which you can access from your Study Programme Gateway, and also search using Summon. eBooks can be read online within your browser, and also temporarily downloaded to your device for offline reading. You will need free software called Adobe Digital Editions to read ebooks you have downloaded to your device. See here for more information on eBooks


Getting Help

You can find more information in our Online Library in a Nutshell Guides, our Tutorials and our Frequently Asked Questions

If you need help, get in touch with the Online Library team by email, phone, web form or Live Chat.