Types of e-resource

E-journals and articles

E-journals are online journals and we have more than 60,000 of them. Journals are published regularly at varying frequencies: weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly – hence they are also referred to as periodicals. They contain up-to-date articles on recent topics.

The main types of journals you'll find in our collection are:

  • Academic (scholarly) – articles are written by researchers for researchers. They contain high quality information for academic work. Look out particularly for peer-reviewed journals, eg International Journal of Biomedical Computing and British Journal of Clinical Psychology. Articles from these journals have been evaluated by academics to make sure they are of the highest quality
  • Professional/trade – written or edited by professionals or practitioners in a specific field, aimed at individuals operating in this area and providing a platform for occupational news, discussions and professional practice issues, eg British Computer Society Review and the Psychologist
  • General – usually aimed at the general public with specific interest in a topic, eg Computeractive and the Economist

Articles are indispensable academic sources. Academic (scholarly) peer-reviewed journal articles provide good quality research material on a specific topic with a level of currency, detail and specificity that may not be found in books. Students at Westminster accessed nearly 1 million articles last year.

Download the Finding articles in e-journals and journals guide (PDF)


Databases are collections of high quality information for academic research. The Library subscribes to nearly 200 databases for you to search and access the information you need for your assignments and research.

  • Databases are not uniform; they all have different content, focus, interfaces and functionality
  • Some provide access to full text content, some are bibliographic that give abstracts or indexes to help you identify the best sources for your research
  • Some are discipline specific, (eg PsycArticles for Psychology), some are multi-disciplinary, eg ScienceDirect
  • Some are aggregators, which means that they draw their content from many publishers, eg EbscoHOST; some are publishers’ own platforms, eg Taylor & Francis and Wiley Online
  • Most contain the latest information, others are archives offering historical depth to your research, eg Parliamentary Papers Online
  • Some provide articles (journal or newspaper) and some other types of information such as company information and statistics. There are also databases with images, films, TV and radio programmes

500,000 searches were carried out by Westminster students on databases last year. Databases are constantly updated, which means the information is very current. They are also academically scrutinised to make sure the information is reliable, which means you can use databases to find relevant, reliable, high quality, current, authoritative, specialised, scholarly pieces of information in a very efficient way.

Databases, like other e-resources, are available 24/7 on and off campus. If you know the name of a database you can search for it on Library Search, alternatively you can talk to your Academic Liaison Librarian to find appropriate databases.

For more information on how to search databases, have a look at our guidance on finding information.

Dictionaries and general reference

The library subscribes to Credo Reference, a comprehensive online reference resource. It includes several dictionaries, encyclopaedias, e-books, images and multimedia material across a wide range of subjects.

We also provide full access to a series of dictionaries from Oxford:

In addition, Library Search contains more than 270 online dictionaries on specific subjects, such as a dictionary of journalism.

WestminsterResearch - The University's research repository

WestminsterResearch is the online institutional repository of the University. It holds the research output of Westminster academics, including articles, books, PhD theses, research papers, reports, audio-visual material and more. Depending on the copyright status, some items are available as full text and some as bibliographic data.

The content of the repository can be searched on Library Search.

Repositories from other institutions can be searched via:

  • Institutional Repository Search - for UK academic repositories
  • OpenDOAR - Open access repositories around the world
  • CORE - An aggregated search from repositories around the world
  • OAIster - A union catalogue of more than 30 million items from 1500 institutions

You can also check our page on accessing e-resources from other libraries for more information and useful links on searching other collections.

Westminster Archives

The Westminster Archive Services collect, preserve and provide access to records created by staff and students of the University and its predecessors.

It's the central point of information about the University's history. Most of its collection can be searched on Library Search by selecting the Archive option in the drop down menu.

The main catalogue can also be accessed on the Archive Services pages. The archive does not hold operational information about the University.

Other catalogues

Sometimes you may want to search the collections of other universities and institutions. Below are some catalogues that allow you to carry out searches across the participating university libraries and institutions. 

Although access to electronic resources of other institutions is very limited due to the licensing terms, you may want to use the bibliographic information of items or use the print/physical copies where available.

  • Search25 is a regional resource discovery tool for London and South East. It includes academic libraries and some special collections. Access for most of the participating libraries is via a scheme called Sconul Access.
  • Copac is a cross searchable catalogue of the research libraries across the UK and Ireland.
  • The British Library public catalogue displays items from the UK’s national library.
  • WorldCat is the largest network of library content across the globe. 

E-theses and e-dissertations

Help and guidance

If you need more help in using e-resources, your Academic Liaison Librarian is the best person to contact.

Alternatively, you can contact us through the Ask-a-Librarian service via the Service Desk for general e-resources related enquiries, including access queries.

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Academic Liaison Librarians

Check who your Academic Liaison Librarian is.

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Guides and tutorials

Videos and guidance on printing, researching your assignments and more.