Information Services

Who can use e-resources?

University of Edinburgh current staff and currently matriculated students have access to a wide range of licensed e-resources for non-commercial use (i.e. for private research and study). Most of our e-resource licensing arrangements restrict the access we can provide to other types of Library users.

Current staff and students

Current staff and currently matriculated students on credit-bearing courses at the University of Edinburgh are entitled to access licensed e-resources for non-commercial use only (i.e. for private research and study).  

The majority of the e-resources  provided by the Library are purchased or leased from publishers or other content providers, and access is subject to both copyright law and the terms and conditions of the licence agreements (binding contracts) which the University has signed with these suppliers. 

Part of our obligation is to ensure that access is limited to authorised users, and for the most part authorised users are defined as current staff and currently matriculated students of the University of Edinburgh.



Alumni access to some e-resources is permitted where licence agreements specifically allow this and access is via a University of Edinburgh Alumni Login.  A list of permitted e-resources can be found on our Alumni A-Z list.

JSTOR access is is available to all alumni via the Alumni Portal.  

Access to select business databases is available via the Business School Alumni Page.  This is restricted to Business school graduates.


Non-authorised users

Full access to our licensed e-resources is generally not permitted for the following categories unless they are teaching our currently matriculated students:

  • Staff of other UK or non-UK educational institutions
  • NHS Trust Staff 
  • Staff of University affiliated institutions 
  • Students at other UK or non-UK educational institutions
  • Non-matriculated University of Edinburgh students or learners (including those on non-credit-bearing courses) who are not recorded in EUCLID
  • Staff of University of Edinburgh commercial subsidiary companies and corporate partners

These groups can refer to the Walk in Access section below for Guest PC access to some of our e-resources where the licences permit this.


Walk-in access

In some cases, publisher licences may allow “walk-in” access to their licensed content from within some of our library buildings, provided the material is only used for private study or research where there is no commercial gain.  Where this is the case, we have set up access at designated computers (Guest PCs) within library premises, and these can be used by anyone who visits in person.  The range of e-resources with licences which allow walk-in access are listed here.

Ask at IS helpdesks about the location of the Guest PCs within our libraries.

Non-commercial use only
Please note that all agreements for our licensed e-resources cover non-commercial use only, which means that the e-resources should only be used for private study and research, and should not be used for any commercial gain.


Still need help?

Please contact the E-Resources Team via the IS Helpline