Library Services


Resources for Doctoral Researchers

UCL is a world-leading research university. We aim to develop rigorous creative researchers for academic and non-academic research careers worldwide. Explore the resources below and expand your skills to support your research, professional development and employability.
Open Science PhD guide

Open Science guide for PhD students

Designed to accompany you at every step of your research while doing your PhD.

UCL doctoral students graduation

UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme (DSDP)

Open to all postgraduate research students at UCL.

Support for undertaking research

Literature searching

Library support for literature searching includes:

  • guidance on which resources are appropriate for your topic;
  • support for carrying out an initial literature search;
  • guidance on carrying out cited reference searching;
  • support for developing advanced search strategies to ensure comprehensive literature retrieval, including searching for systematic reviews.


See our LibrarySkills@UCL guides to:

We also offer training sessions on literature searching. For support from specialist library staff, contact your site or subject librarian.

Scoping a research project

When you first embark on a research project, specialist library staff can help you to scope your project to determine the current level of knowledge existing in that field, including support for:

  • carrying out searches for literature (see above)
  • identifying relevant conference abstracts and proceedings
  • identifying similar research in progress and research groups with similar interests in the UK and beyond.


See our LibrarySkills@UCL guides to:

We also offer training sessions on literature searching. For support from specialist library staff, contact your site or subject librarian.

Keeping up to date with research

Library staff can provide guidance on the many tools available to keep you up to date with research in your field or issues and events that may influence your research.

Journal article alerts

  • Table of contents alerts, or eToCs, can be set up to send the tables of contents of new issues of journals to you by email or RSS feeds. Publishers' websites also usually allow you to set up alerts to individual journals.
  • Subject search alerts can be set up in many bibliographic databases, such as Web of Science or Scopus. Some databases have the option of receiving alerts by email.
  • Cited reference alerts inform you when a particular paper has been cited in another paper. Some databases, such as Web of Science and Scopus, and some publishers' websites allow you to set up this type of alert.

Social media

  • Blogs and twitter: Many institutions, publishers or individuals maintain blogs or tweet about issues that may be relevant to your research.
  • Social networking sites and showcasing research work: IRIS (Institutional Research Information System) is UCL's research portal, where you can identify the research activities of researchers, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL. Social or professional networking sites aimed at researchers include ResearchGate and Academia.
  • Social citation sharing: Sites such as Mendeley and Zotero enable you to share interesting papers to find out what other like-minded researchers are reading.

Funding opportunities and research news

  • Find out about external funding opportunities via UCL's subscription to RESEARCHconnect. To access the site click on the link above and use the ‘Log In via institution’ button to select UCL, and use your UCL user name and password. From there you will also be able to access other tools, save your searches and set up alerts for yourself as well as for a group.
  • The website of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the individual research councils include news on funding and research. Other useful sites include Research Professional and Vitae.
  • Please visit UCL Research for more information.

Other alerts

  • New books: Many publishers' and booksellers' websites have alerting facilities for new books.
  • Conferences and events: Monitor professional organisations or societies in your field for new on forthcoming conferences and events. There are also generic conference alert services available, such as AllConferences.com and Conference Alerts.
  • For support from specialist library staff, contact your site or subject librarian.
Reference management and citation

Library staff can advise on systematic approaches to managing bibliographic references as well as standards for citing references.


Reference management software enables you to create your own database of references relevant to your research and then to insert references and format them automatically in the citation style of your choice within a Word document. See our guide to Reference Management Software, and guides to EndNote, Mendeley and Zotero. We also have access to SciWheel.



Library staff can advise on correctly citing your sources and you can find further information on the UCL Library Services References, Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism web pages.


For support from specialist library staff on the use of reference management software or citing references, attend a training session or contact your site or subject librarian.

Copyright and IPR advice

Library staff offer advice on legislation surrounding copyright and licensing schemes, issues relating to the work you create including Intellectual Property Rights, Creative Commons and model licenses to publish, and the re-use of copyright material in your own work.

ISD support

Support for the use of other software is provided by ISD, UCL's Information Services Division. They provide training on software, learning technologies and administration systems, including essential computer skills and statistical software.

UCL Doctoral School

The Doctoral School is committed to ensuring that the quality of research training at UCL is at the highest international level.

Students Support & Wellbeing

Conducting a doctoral degree can be challenging. UCL team of expert wellbeing, disability and mental health staff provide a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space, in which you can discuss any issues that may be affecting your ability to study. All of our support services are free of charge and open to all UCL students of all levels.