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Subject guides: Information Studies

Information Studies section

Welcome to the UCL Library Services subject guide to library, archive and information studies. These pages are maintained by Tara Platt, subject librarian for the Department of Information Studies. The content is regularly revised and feedback or suggestions are welcomed.

This guide provides links to and information about resources relating to library, archive and information studies, and covers both printed and electronic collections:

More information about Library Services in general, together with a range of links to useful sources elsewhere can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/.

Training sessions

Regular training sessions on electronic library resources are held in the DMS Watson Teaching Cluster. For dates and times see Information Skills Training. Individual training sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

For further information or to arrange an individual training session contact the Library Science Team on lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk or see contact details below.

Printed collections


The library is multi-site (18 in all). You are most likely to need two of them: the Science Library (in the DMS Watson building) and the Main Library (in the Wilkins building). See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

Book collections

The library has its own classification scheme (Garside); a typical classmark for an open-access book will consist of the name of a subject (indicating a section of the library) followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the shelves in that section, e.g.:

LIBRARIANSHIP L 83 ANG for a book on cataloguing rules.
LIBRARIANSHIP K 350 for books on electronic publishing
ARCHIVES K 15 for books on records management

Some of the main sections you are likely to need are:

LIBRARIANSHIP (Science Library, 1st floor); contains most of the textbooks for library and information studies; also books on publishing, children's literature, web publishing, book production, digital humanities and historical bibliography.

ARCHIVES (Science Library, 1st floor); contains most of the textbooks on archives and records management.

PALAEOGRAPHY (Main Library, north, 2nd floor); works about the manuscript book and mediaeval scripts.

COMPUTER SCIENCE (Science Library, 4th floor).

MANAGEMENT (Science Library, 2nd floor).

PUBLIC POLICY (Main Library, north, 2 nd floor)

LAW (Main Library: Donaldson Reading Room)

A classmark beginning with a number, e.g. 115 L 68 JEN, indicates a book in store, not on the open shelves. Store books should be requested online via the online catalogue and search service database Explore, and will normally be available for collection within one working day.

Periodicals collections

Periodicals are kept in separate subject sections, usually adjacent to the relevant book collections:

The LIBRARIANSHIP PERIODICALS are in the Librarianship reading room (Science Library, 1st floor).

The ARCHIVES PERIODICALS are shelved next to the books (Science Library, 1st floor).

Science journals are not borrowable, but may be photocopied in the library. For information about photocopying, see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/Photocopy.shtml.

Use Explore to search for journals the library has access to (select UCL journals in the resource list). Explore also allows you to search for articles within some journals (select Journal articles). Contents of journals can also be searched via indexes and abstracts.


Use Explore to search for items, either via the dedicated terminals at various locations in library sites, or from any other computer with a suitable web browser.

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Electronic collections

Material in electronic form is available to registered members of UCL. To access these resources, users are advised to navigate to material using the links from the Library Services website. If you are off-site, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password. For more information about this visit the
Information for electronic Library resource users section of the Library Services website.

Indexes and Abstracts
The library offers access to a range of bibliographic databases for subject specific literatrure searching.


  • LISA (Library & Information Science Abstracts)
  • Library and Information Science Source
  • SCOPUS multi-disciplinary database containing references to journal articles, conference proceedings, trade publications, book series and web resources. For further information, see the online tutorials at SCOPUS.
  • Web of Knowledge for the Arts & Humanities Citation Index and the Social Science Citation Index. For further information you can follow a number of online tutorials in various languages on the Web of Knowledge website. You will need a browser running Flash Version 8 or higher to view these tutorials.

Information Science

  • INSPEC (includes IT and computing) 1969-
  • ACM Digital Library provides accesss to the full text of ACM journals and conference proceedings.


International Medieval Bibliography (includes manuscript studies) 1967-
Heritage of the Printed Book Catalogue of European printing in the early modern era (from the 15th century to the 1830s). Formerly known as Hand Press Book Database.

Full-Text Collections

British Standards Full text access to British, European and International Standards, including those relating to library, archive and information studies. For further information on British Standards click here.
Safari Large ebooks collection covering technology, digital media, and business books and videos online.
Synthesis Digital Library ebook series collection in Computer Science and Engineering. Includes series on Information Concepts, Retrieval, and Services.

Electronic journals
A wide range of electronic versions of journal titles are available to registered members of UCL.

  • Start from the list on the library's web pages at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/ejournal/. Here you will find details of access arrangements for each title.
  • Library, Archive and Information Studies titles can be browsed alphabetically by following the link to the e-journals page and clicking on the “Subject” heading. From there, select your subject from the category list.

Exam papers
For information about exam papers, and access to all undergraduate and postgraduate papers for the last 5 years up to 2010, go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/exam.shtml. Online papers for Library, Archive and Information Studies are available via this link. Paper copies of exam papers for the current year for all Main and Science Library subjects are shelved in the Photocopying Room of the Main Library. Older papers are available in printed format and are kept in store. These can be requested by clicking here.

Web resources

The MetaLib cross-search and resource-finding tool provides quick access to a range of resources for Information Studies, including:

Click here to see a full list of resources. Among those listed are Archives and Publishing organisations, many of which have free to access publications and industry statistics.

More information about Metalib can be found here.

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Other libraries

Senate House Library (University of London, in Malet Street) has a strong collection in bibliography, especially historical bibliography and reference materials. The Palaeography Room in the Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies contains one of this country's richest collections for manuscript and archive studies. Any registered member of UCL can join the library and borrow from there.

The British Library (St Pancras) offers a Librarianship and Information Sciences Service, with extensive collections of books and periodicals. You can apply for reference access upon production of a full, valid UCL ID card, a further form of identification (eg. driving licence, passport) and confirmation of your home address (eg. utility bill, council tax bill).

The British Library Business and IP Centre offers a range of resources for Publishing Students. The library contains a number of market reports and industry reviews, some of which can be accessed electronically from inside the British Library, in particular, the provide access to Global Publishing, the Publishing Association’s online database of publishing market reports and statistics.

For information about use of other university and national libraries, see the UCL Library guide to other libraries.

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Contact details
For further assistance in using the Library, visit the Science Enquiry Desk, which is on the ground floor of the Science Library. During term-time it is staffed from 09:30-18:00 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 09:30-17:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays (shorter hours during vacations). You may also telephone the Enquiry Desk on extension 37789 or 020 7679 7789 (for external callers).

The Subject Librarian for Library, Archive & Information Studies is Tara Platt , who is based in room 314 of the Science Library. For further guidance and information, or to arrange an individual training session, contact Tara on extension 32634 or 020 7679 2634, or e-mail lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk.

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Last modified 04 May 2011

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