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This page provides information on some useful electronic resources other than ejournals and ebooks, such as citation databases, scientific search engines and other databases.

Cambridge University Library's eresources@cambridge page is the best place to go to access web-based electronic resources, including citation and many other databases, ejournals and ebooks, newspapers, images and sound.

If you cannot find what you want, you can recommend an electronic resource for purchase.

Citation databases and search engines

Web of Science (Wos) 

Cambridge University Library subscribes to the Web of Science, which is hosted by Thomson Reuters. This resource provides access to Web of Science Core Collection (from 1900-), BIOSIS Citation Index (1926-), Medline (1950-), Zoological Record (1864-) and InCites incorporating the Journal Citation Reports (JCR). 

  • WoS indexes over 12,000 journals, contains more than 1 billion cited references and is updated daily
  • Book Citation Index indexes over 50,000 editorially selected books with 10,000 new books added each year
  • Conference Proceedings Citation Index has over 160,000 citations dating back to 1990
  • Cited Reference Searching and Related Records tools help you to find similar citations in your field of interest
  • Links to full-text articles if the University has an online subscription to the journal content
  • Results can be printed, emailed to yourself or saved to reference management software
  • General and cited reference searches can be saved and set up as alerts or RSS feeds
  • Journal Citation Reports for current impact factors, subject rankings etc.

There are guides on how to search the WoS throughout the Balfour Library, and the Senior Library Assistant will be happy to show you how to use it.

On-campus and off-campus access is via Raven password.


Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of research literature and quality web sources. It's designed to find the information scientists need. Quick, easy and comprehensive, Scopus provides superior support of the literature research process. Updated daily, Scopus offers:

  • More than 21,500 peer-reviewed journals from over 5,000 publishers, including 4,200 full open access journals
  • 7.2 million conference papers from over 83,000 worldwide events
  • Over 116,000 books, plus more than 530 book series
  • 60 million records, with approximately 3 million new records added each year
  • Links to full-text articles if the University has an online subscription to the journal content
  • Innovative tools that give an at-a-glance overview of search results and refine them to the most relevant hits
  • Cited by and Related documents links to broaden your search
  • Ability to analyse search results in different ways
  • Alerts and RSS feeds to keep you up-to-date on new articles matching your search query, or by favourite author

On-campus access does not require a password. Off-campus access is via Raven password.


PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes over 26 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to 1948. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, and abstracts, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other websites. Google Scholar helps you identify the most relevant research across the world of scholarly research. You can find papers, abstracts and citations, and locate the complete paper through your library or on the web.


ScienceDirect contains almost 25% of the world's science, technology and medicine full text and bibliographic information.

Apart from online eBooks, Reference Works, Handbooks and Book Series ScienceDirect offers a rich journal collection of over 3,800 titles.

On-campus access does not require a password. Off-campus access is via Raven password.

Dictionaries, encyclopedias and other databases

Many dictionaries, encyclopedias and other databases are subscribed to by Cambridge University Library which can be accessed via eresources@cambridge. Detailed here is a selection of the most useful ones but please browse the list on the eresources@cambridge page to find many more.

Oxford Reference Online

Oxford Reference Online brings together language and subject reference works from one of the world's biggest reference publishers into a single cross-searchable resource. There are several Biological Sciences dictionaries available, as well as the Oxford English Dictionary.

On-campus access does not require a password. Off-campus access is via Raven password.

Essential for Life Science (ELS) (previously Encyclopedia of Life Sciences)

ELS features more than 5,000 specially commissioned and peer-reviewed articles. The articles within ELS are written by leaders in the field to provide comprehensive and authoritative coverage of each subject area and are aimed at researchers, students and teachers alike.

All articles are accompanied by colour illustrations and tables. Appendix and glossary material provide essential information for the non-specialist, including biochemical and taxonomic information, acronyms, synonyms, units and other technical data. Importantly, since all articles have been peer-reviewed a balanced representation of the literature is ensured.

On-campus access does not require a password. Off-campus access is via Raven password.

ZETOC - electronic tables of contents

Zetoc provides access to over 29,000 current journals and more than 52 million article citations and conference papers through the British Library's electronic table of contents. The database covers 1993 to the present, and is updated on a daily basis. It includes an email alerting service, to enable you to keep up-to-date with relevant new articles and papers.

On-campus access does not require a password. Off-campus access is via Raven password.

Copies of all the articles and conference papers listed on the database are available from the British Library's Document Supply Centre in Yorkshire, via Inter-Library Loan (ILL), if the journal is not held anywhere within the University. The Balfour Library provides an inter-library loan service, please see the Inter-Library Loans page. 

Ornithological databases

The Balfour Library has purchased access to two ornithological databases.  

 Birds of North America (BNA)

BNA is a project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It provides comprehensive life histories for over 760 species of birds breeding in the USA and Canada.

Species accounts are written by ornithologists and other experts. They are combined with sounds, images and video from the Macaulay Library and distributional maps and model output generated by eBird.

On-campus access does not require a password. Off-campus access is via Raven password.

Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (HBW Alive)

HBW Alive is an online comprehensive resource for all of the birds of the world. It contains the contents of the acclaimed 17-volume Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) series.

HBW Alive contains detailed information, illustrations, maps and other material on all the bird species of the world. The contents are constantly updated by professional editors and moderated user participation via "wikicontributions". There are more than 50,000 videos, photographs and sounds which are linked for quick and easy access. Each species account also includes a bibliography of the references used. HBW Alive also has a geographic tree which can be used to see species lists of the birds of every country of the world.

Access is restricted to computers with a Zoology Department IP-address. A username and password is also required. Contact the for more information and a password.

Reference management software

Many software tools are available to help students and researchers collate and manage citations and references.

Please see the UL’s really helpful ‘Reference management tools’ page for further information on the following resources.


Mendeley is a free reference manager and an academic social network. It can help you to manage your research, showcase your work, connect and collaborate with over five million researchers worldwide.


Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Zotero collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages and almost anything else. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find what you are looking for in a few keystrokes.


EndNote is reference management software that enables you to store and manage your references. It will then create bibliographies from these references automatically. The full version of EndNote must be purchased but there is a limited online version called EndNote basic which is free.

How to get a Raven password

See the University Computing Service "How do I get a password for Raven?" web page.