Category Archives: iDiscover

Open Access coming to iDiscover?

It will be great to be able to locate journal articles more easily on iDiscover!


Developments over December 2017 and January 2018 may improve prospects for significant benefits to the user’s search experience in iDiscover.

Expanded your results beyond your collection in iDiscover, but hit the paywall as a result?  For some time now, you could hit your Open Access button bookmarklet and get delivery of an OA repository version.   Rather than extend search from outside with a tool, a new agreement should maximise search to discovery to delivery, dramatically decreasing the pain of that journey for users.   Over 2018, we should see the integration of Primo (iDiscover) with CORE, making available in the University’s discovery service many millions of records for OA research articles, following the new partnership of the CORE service with Ex Libris.

The agreement has been described on the JISC involve blog here:

The aggregated content includes metadata (currently 90m records) and open access research outputs hosted in…

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New self-service machine renew books function

Following the recent library management system upgrade we are very pleased to announce that the self-service machine is back in action, and there is some new functionality available!

You can now view the books you have on loan from libraries across Cambridge, and you can renew them on the machine.

You can continue to renew books online of course, by logging on to your iDiscover account with your Raven credentials (the previous My Library Account facility is no longer available following the system upgrade). The login button can be found in the top right hand corner of the screen:


Library staff can also renew books for you if you contact us by phone or email or in person, so there is no need to lug your book(s) around. Please remember that you can only renew a book on loan to you from the Chemistry Library three times.

To see what books you have on loan from libraries across Cambridge

First you need to press the Borrow button on the machine:


Then scan the barcode on the reverse of your University Card.


Your borrower record is displayed. Your name should appear at the top of the screen.


Press the Renew button on the left hand side of the screen. The books you have on loan will be displayed, in red.


(Note that the machine displays the amount any fines you have from a library after your name at the top of the screen, and next to the book concerned. A fine amount may be showing at the top of the screennext to your name but you cannot see it next to a book: this may be because you have returned the book(s) to the library you borrowed it from, but have not yet paid the fine. You will need to contact the library concerned about this. The Chemistry Library does not fine, and library staff here cannot help you with queries about fines from other libraries).

Unfortunately you cannot see which library the books have been borrowed from. We will investigate whether this can be displayed.

To renew a book(s)

Select the book(s) you wish to renew on the screen. The book(s) you have selected turn green.

Renew the book(s) by pressing the Renew Selected or Renew All button.

The due date for the book should change to reflect the renewal.

The number of books you have renewed appears in the box in the top right hand corner of the screen.

The new due date for the book(s) should also display in the Borrowed until column.


If the book has already been renewed the maximum number of times according to the Chemistry Library rules (this will vary across libraries) or if there is another problem, you will see the message telling you that the renewal failed.

View your reservations function

We have not tested this yet but it appears that you can see reservations you have made for books on loan to you across Cambridge by pressing the Reservations button on left of the screen (which displays the number of reservations you have).


Return books at any time using the Return button on the screen

You can return a book by pressing the Return button on the left of the screen.


Follow the instructions on the screen to do this (basically scan the barcode of each book).

You can find instructions for returning and borrowing books using the self-service machine in a previous blog post.

To log out of the machine

Press the Finish button to end the session. If you would like a receipt of the transaction(s) which gives you the details and due dates of books then press the Receipt button. This will print off a receipt on the printer next to the machine and you will be logged out of the session automatically.

Please give us your feedback

It is very early days with this new functionality and we will be monitoring whether it is working properly or if it is useful.

If you have any problems using the machine please let us know, either in person in the library, by email to, or by phone on (3)36329.


New ebooks – December 2017


Despite being a short, LMS-free month, librarians across the University have continued to buy ebooks through December. Here is a selection of the titles added to the ebooks@cambridge collection this month. These titles were purchased by, or on behalf of, department and faculty libraries within the University of Cambridge and by the University Library.

Click on the cover image to access the title via our authenticated links.

AMES1   AMES2  AMES3  Comp1  Comp2  Educ1  Educ2  Educ3   Educ4  Eng1  Eng2    Eng3    Eng4  Gen1  Geog1  Hist1  Matsci1  Matsci2  Med1  Med2  POLIS1  POLIS2  POLIS3  POLIS4  Psych1   Soc1  Study1  Study2

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Re-imagining library spaces at the University of Cambridge

Take a look at ‘The Tracker Project’ report by Furturelib! Students using the Chemistry Library wore eyetracking devices while finding books and other items – with fascinating results. We will digest the project findings and hopefully act upon them in future.

Let us know what you think!

Source: Re-imagining library spaces at the University of Cambridge

iDiscover help: What do records mentioning “Online access restricted to designated PCs”, or “UL: Temporary Store 2” mean?


What does “Online access restricted to designated PCs in the main UL + affiliate libraries” mean?

Where it says on a record for a journal or a book that “Online access restricted to designated PCs in the main UL + affiliate libraries”, this means that it is an e-legal deposit copy.

Cambridge University Library is one of six ‘legal deposit’ libraries in the UK & Ireland. This means it must receive a copy of every book and journal published in the UK from the publisher, for free. Recently the law was changed to include electronic books and journals and so many publishers now choose to deposit the online versions instead. These items are available on designated PCs in the main University Library and some Affiliated Libraries only (which does not include the Chemistry Library). You cannot save the PDF, and may not be able to print it off either.

Find out more on how to access e-legal deposit items here.

What does “UL: Temporary Store 2. Request via Inter-Library Loan” mean?

Many items are currently being held in an off-site store which is not accessible, i.e. a ‘dark’ store. This will include physical material formerly held by either the Betty & Gordon Moore Library, the Central Science Library, the University Library or the Medical Library.

If a record on iDiscover says that an item’s location is “UL: Temporary Store 2. Request via Inter-Library Loan” this means that you need to make a free request for it as an Inter-Library Loan item. We recommend that you use the Betty & Gordon Moore Library’s Inter-Library Loan service to do this. You can complete their online form to request an item to be scanned for and sent to you.


Electronic Legal Deposit and ebooks

A really clear explanation of these types of ebook record, thanks! It’s a shame that users will still click on the Online access link because they can’t tell it’s an e-legal depoist book at that point – let’s hope that gets resolved.


Have you had trouble connecting to an ebook from iDiscover? Perhaps you have clicked on the ‘Online access’ link and waited for your ebook to open, only to get a ‘Connection timed out’ message some time after? If so, you have probably stumbled across an Electronic Legal Deposit ebook.

time-outWhat is Electronic Legal Deposit?

A growing number of publishers are now fulfilling their legal deposit obligations by depositing electronic rather than print books with the six legal deposit libraries, including the UL. Publishers currently doing this include, but are not limited to, Routledge, Edinburgh University Press, Palgrave Macmillan and Sage, and more are due to follow suit in the next few years.

How do Electronic Legal Deposit ebooks differ from purchased ebooks?

Ebooks that are deposited on Electronic Legal Deposit differ from ebooks purchased from publishers or aggregators (such as those bought by the ebooks@cambridge service or directly by Faculty…

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Links to ebooks from iDiscover

If this doesn’t help to explain an issue you may be having with accessing ebooks via iDiscover please let us know.


A temporary issue with iDiscover is causing ebook links to display incorrectly. Until the issue is resolved, please access ebooks as follows:

From a search results list, click on the ebook title, rather than the green Online access link (if you do click this it will take you to the detailed record and not the ebook):


You will see that the View Online section of the detailed record is empty (this is where the link should appear if all is well):


To access the ebook, scroll down to the ‘Links’ section of the record, and choose the second link in the list (the wording of this will vary with supplier, but for all records we have seen so far it should always be the second link):


We very much hope that this is a temporary change to the way ebooks are displayed and accessed and we will update…

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