News archive 2008

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Elin Service to be Discontinued

The ELIN service, which the Library has been piloting since the summer, will be withdrawn in the new year. 
Although some users expressed a strong liking for it, particularly the journal article search feature, many others preferred different routes to this information and the overall view was that ELIN did not justify its cost. We apologies to those people who have used and liked the service. 
Faculty Librarians will be happy to advise on other tools and routes for searching. Please direct any other enquiries on this matter to

Second Life

Update: 11th December 2008

UoP Library is investigating the possibility of some form of presence in Second Life, if you'd like to have some input on what this might look like or how useful it could be, please take a look at this very brief questionnaire:

(If the URL doesn't work directly, try cutting and pasting it into your browser address bar).
No need to have any experience of Second Life. All views considered!

NetLibrary now no longer available

Update: 3rd December 2008

The Library no longer subscribes to e-books from the supplier NetLibrary. We had only a very small number of titles from this source, many quite dated, and usage levels were mostly very low. In some cases titles known to have been used have been sourced via other suppliers. If anyone has any problems or queries arising from this, please contact:

findit@portsmouth launched

28th November 2008

A new website with small, colourful and interactive guides to finding books, journal articles and other types of information has been added to the Library website. If you want to find out more go to findit (

Access the Royal Society Digital Journal Archive for Free

19th November 2008

The Royal Society Digital Archive is easily the most comprehensive journal archive in science and contains some of the most significant scientific papers ever published. Covering almost 350 years of scientific research across the disciplines it is a priceless academic resource. The Royal Society Digital Journal Archive, dating back to 1665 and containing approximately 52,000 articles, is available online and is FREE for a three month period ending on 1st February 2009.

Access the archive at Off campus access is via Shibboleth.

Access to Electronic Resources update

4th September 2008

It has not been possible to complete the migration to the new Shibboleth authentication service (otherwise known as Federated Access Management) since a number of our suppliers are not yet Shibboleth compliant. For this reason, some resources are still accessed via the old Athens route.

We are aware that this presents difficulties for users, especially when they are offered alternative routes to authentication without knowing which they should use. As an aid to users, we have prepared a list of resources showing clearly which route should be taken to authenticate each of these. Please click here to view the list, but be aware that the picture is still changing as the remaining Athens resources gradually migrate to the new service.

If the service you wish to access is not listed, or if you are having difficulties accessing resources, please contact the e-helpdesk on (023) 9284 3248, or email

Major changes in Library databases

30th July 2008

This summer sees major changes which will affect the look and functionality of many of our databases.

Some databases have just had an interface upgrade (e.g.EBSCO databases, Emerald), so the basic look remains the same but there are new features and improvements. Others are changing more radically or moving to a different intermediary host, which uses a completely different search and results interface; for example, most Silver Platter databases have moved to the Ovid platform.

These changes, which have been initiated by a number of our major suppliers, are beyond the Library's control. If you are at all puzzled by the changes next time you are searching a database, look first for the supplier?s own Help button (often at the top right of the screen). If you need further advice, please do not hesitate to contact your Faculty Librarian or our Electronic Resources Helpdesk.

Email: Tel: (023) 9284 3228

Access to Electronic Resources

30th July 2008

Starting from 1 August 2008, the Athens authentication system is no longer the usual route to access electronic resources. Access is now managed by the UK Access Management Federation of which the University of Portsmouth is a member, and is enabled by your University of Portsmouth login username and password (sometimes referred to as 'institution login').

What do existing staff and students need to do?

To continue accessing your usual resources, nothing. If you have any personal settings, you should save this information before the change (see below).

How will I access resources from now on?

When you are working on campus, you should be authenticated to access most resources without needing to do anything. In some cases and when off campus, you will need to use your University login. The possible steps you might need to take include:

  1. In a small number of cases, indicate the type of login you require: this will be 'UK Federation', or 'Shibboleth'.
  2. More often, you may be asked to indicate which institution you belong to.
  3. Quite often, and always when off campus, you will need to enter your University username and password when prompted.

In the majority of cases, you will only need to login once during any one session.

What about my personal settings such as saved searches, favourite e-books etc.?

There is a possibility that you may lose any personal settings and saved information when your access details change. Some suppliers are intending to migrate data after the change, and we are trying assemble a picture of who will do what. In the meantime, please make sure you have saved details of any personal data stored.

What do I do if I have problems?

Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday, ring (023) 9284 3248. Alternatively, email the e-resources helpdesk at

And if I'm a new member of the University?

New members of staff and students receive a UOP login account username and password when they join the University. If you are a student and do not know your account details, you can find this out from the Student Account Look up page. You will need to enter your student reference number, date of birth and course code and you will be given your username and password and be prompted to change your password for something more memorable.

Farewell to ATHENS.

1st July 2008

At the end of July 2008 JISC funding for the ATHENS authentication service is due to end, so the ATHENS route to our subscribed electronic resources will no longer be available.

This note is to advise you of the alternative arrangements being put in place. Most of our resources are accessed via IP on campus (meaning that you are automatically recognised as coming from a recognised subscriber), with devolved ATHENS being used for off campus access. 'Devolved' ATHENS means that you use you University login rather than the old-style ATHENS username and password. After ATHENS closes, authentication will in most cases be via a new service called Shibboleth.

We are currently working on implementing Shibboleth and are reasonably confident that most resources will be correctly set up by the end of July. This should mean that you will simply need to use your University login as before to access a resource, though in some cases you will first have to indicate which institution you belong to.

Once logged in to a Shibboleth resource, logging in to others during the same session should be seamless. Some suppliers are already Shibboleth compliant; others have indicated that they will be so by the end of July but we have no certainty on this, so in some cases there may be a gap between the closure of ATHENS and Shibboleth access becoming available. We are monitoring this daily and will enable Shibboleth access as soon as suppliers become compliant.

A number of known suppliers will definitely not be compliant by 31 July, or at all. In these cases off campus access is being enabled via the iChain server, which acts as a proxy server so that users can be recognised as if they were on campus. For these resources, access will be seamless if you are using Internet Explorer on a Windows PC; if you are using Firefox, your University login will be needed.

Note that this route to resources has to be set up for us by IS in relation to specific resources; Webcache users should continue to use that route for general on-campus simulation.

Some resources currently require ATHENS logins even on campus; examples include the e-book services Ebrary and MyiLibrary, which require authentication to enable personalisation features to be usable. The good news is that nearly all of these will be Shibboleth compliant, so access will be maintained. Less good news is that in some cases your personalised data may be lost in the transition; we have not been able to test this yet but will keep you informed as we progress.

Closure of Blackwell Synergy e-journal platform.

20th June 2008

Following a merger between Wiley and Blackwell, all journals currently available via Blackwell Synergy will shortly be migrated to the Wiley Interscience platform. For those who access e-journals via databases or search engines, access should continue to be seamless, although you will find that the journal host site will have a different appearance. For anyone using the Blackwell Synergy site as a starting point for journal searching, you should be aware that this platform will disappear after June 30th and you will need to visit Wiley Interscience instead.

University Library commended for integrating old and new

8th April 2008

The University Library has been honoured with a commendation in the 2008 Civic Trust awards

University Library is best new building

Thu, Feb 21, 2008

The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth unveiled a plaque which declared the University of Portsmouth library 'Best New Building' at a ceremony today.

JISC e-books Observatory project ... Access 26 course text books...

23rd January 2008

The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) is running a project to investigate the potential of electronic delivery of popular textbooks. As part of this project, the Library has free access to 26 course texts for business and management studies, engineering, and media studies. To see a list of these titles, view this word document on the JISC website

The books are available via the MyiLibrary platform. You can access them by either:

  1. going to MyiLibrary
  2. searching for them in the Library Catalogue and then linking to the book from there.

MyiLibrary requires Athens Authentication.

The e-books will be available until September 2009.

As part of the project, JISC will also be distributing questionnaires for staff and students. The first of these is now available. It's a short survey which asks general questions about your use of e-books - it doesn't relate specifically to the books in the project, so you can fill it in now - it takes about 5 minutes. Staff and students who respond will be entered into a prize draw for £200.