UCL Library Services provides access to bibliographical and full-text databases which can be used by UCL staff and students both on- and off-site. Content must be used within the terms and conditions of our licences.
Quick answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning databases can be found below. More detailed information about using MetaLib can be found in our guide or in the help section within MetaLib.
If you have any questions or problems using databases or MetaLib then please contact us.
- How do I access databases?
UCL provides access to a variety of databases and full-text resources via MetaLib. In addition to providing subject and A-Z lists of resources, MetaLib is good for gaining an overview of a topic or conducting an introductory search. In many cases you will continue on to use a resource's own search interface.
- On-site users will only need to log in to MetaLib if you want to use the personal features (save records, searches, etc) in My MetaLib.
- Off-site users, acessing from a computer outside the UCL network, will be prompted automatically to log in when clicking on a link to a UCL-restricted resource in any of MetaLib's tabs. Some resources are freely available and these do not require login.
- How do I get additional help?
- How can I see which journal the article is from?
Switch to "Brief view" on the results screen (instead of "Table view"). The citation is then shown for each hit.
- What is SFX@UCL and why can't I always see the button?
SFX@UCL is the name of a linking service which give you direct access from a reference, in a database or catalogue, to the full text of an electronic resource.
SFX is available wherever you see the SFX@UCL button. Click on the button and a menu of possible links will appear.
Some resources in MetaLib don't provide the data relevant to SFX links. On these resources, the SFX button is suppressed. Often, these resources provide their own links to fulltext instead, in the "External" field of the record in MetaLib.
- How can I get rid of pop-up messages which appear when I log in?
On some computers (particularly UCL WTS), if you use the Internet Explorer browser, you will see some pop-up security messages when you try to log in to MetaLib. To ensure that these boxes don't display again, tick the box next to "In the future, do not show this warning" and then answer "Yes" to any boxes which ask you if you want to show both secure and non-secure items.
- Why isn't my search returning any results?
- Are the top results in ExpertSearch the most relevant to my search?
Not necessarily. MetaLib returns the first 10 results as each resource lists them, which may be by relevance in some cases, but alternatively by publication date or alphabetically in others. The only way to rank the combined results list is to combine more until you have the whole list, sorting by MetaLib's ranking option.
- Can I export my search results into Reference Manager / EndNote?
Yes. Where full citation information is provided by the source database, you will see an option at the bottom of the SFX menu to "Download Citation to Reference Manager/EndNote". Clicking on this link will automatically open Reference Manager, EndNote, or other similar citation management software, if you have it on your computer, and give you the option to load the citation into the software.
- Can I use SFX links in PubMed?
Yes. The easiest way to see UCL SFX links in PubMed is to access PubMed using the following URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?otool=iukucllib, or via the entry for PubMed in MetaLib or the databases list. Alternatively, you can create or modify a MyNCBI account in PubMed with UCL preferences, as described below.
- To set your MyNCBI preferences, sign in to MyNCBI (or register as a new user)
- Select NCBI Site Preferences at the top right
- Under PubMed Preferences, click on Outside Tool
- Click the radio button next to UCL (University College London) - SFX
If you encounter any problems using SFX, please use the E-resource Contact us form. In your report, include as much information as possible about the actions which led to the problem and the text of any error messages you see.
- How does SFX work in Google Scholar?
UCL has activated SFX links in Google Scholar. These can only appear as text links rather than showing the SFX@UCL button.
- If you are using a UCL computer, you should see these links automatically
- If you are outside the UCL network and want to display UCL SFX links, you will need to set UCL in 'Library Links' within the Settings menu
A large link, labelled "SFX@UCL - Fulltext" will appear if UCL has the item in full text via SFX.
A smaller link, labelled simply "SFX@UCL", below the citation, indicates that UCL may have the item in print and the SFX menu will allow you to search the library catalogue.