Online Students

Using the library

As an online student you will have remote access to one of the world's biggest academic libraries.

Getting started using the library

Watch video: An introduction to the library for online students 

One of the world's biggest academic libraries

The University library is one of the most valuable resources for our online students.  You will have access to:

  • 2.2 million e-books
  • 206,000 e-journals
  • 900 licensed databases
  • 115,000 streaming videos
  • 11,000 scanned book chapters and journal articles
  • 44,000 digitised books, images and resources from Library and University collections
  • 30,000 digitised University of Edinburgh theses can be found on DiscoverEd
  • 213,000 Open Access (OA) resources
  • 3,000 resource lists

Some of these do not require you to log in but you will need your University Login to access the full range of library resources.

If we don't have a book or journal that you need, you can request that we buy it. We have an e-preference collection policy, which means the online version of a new resource is purchased if possible. We also have many reciprocal agreements that will give you access to other libraries.

Accessing the library materials

The sheer size of our library's holdings can seem daunting at first, but help is at hand. Firstly, your academic tutor will guide your reading with recommended lists of material. We have also created guidance to show you how to use the library's search tools:

Watch our video about how to get the most out of the library's online resources

Once you have watched the video, the following link is a good place to start:

Using the library for online learning


DiscoverEd is the Library's discovery service. Use it to search the Library's collections: this includes books, e-books, journal titles, journal articles, databases and more. Use your University Login to sign into your library account and manage loans, renewals, requests and fines.

Go to DiscoverEd

Help using Library resources

If you need help with any Library service, this following page will give you details on how to log your query or ask your question:

Library help

Academic Support Librarians

You will always be able to contact a member of our library staff. They are experts, they have deep knowledge of the library's resources, and they are here to help you.

Find your subject-specialist Academic Support Librarian