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Help with eresources and access


Getting started

  • The links to eresources on our website will automatically prompt you to authenticate when clicked.

    The "Library eresources" authentication system isn't the same authentication system as Uni email MyUni or My account - (your community ID ), so you may be able to login to MyUni but have a problem with eresources, or vice versa.


How many users can access an ebook simultaneously?

I need help with accessing and downloading ebooks.

  • Please refer to the Ebook Guide for more information about ebook use.

  • Etextbooks

    Textbooks in the library

  • The library provides limited numbers of textbooks to support equitable access to course materials for our students. However, the library should be considered a secondary source of textbook access for students.

  • eTextbooks

  • Textbooks are commissioned specifically for teaching and learning, and publishers get their return on investment primarily through student retail sales. Publishers often target sales of etextbooks to individual students for use on their personal devices. It is for this reason prescribed textbooks are generally not available for libraries to purchase in ebook format as publishers see this as a potential loss of revenue. For example, Wiley Direct etextbooks are only available for individual purchase and are not for institutional access.

    Wherever possible, the Information Resources team will negotiate unlimited access to etextbooks with publishers, however, there may be instances where 1 or 3 user licences are the only option. If this is the case, the library treats the number of licences as being equivalent to copies of a print book. The Information Resources Team will use a formula to determine the number of ebook licences or a mixture of ebook licences and print copies that will be supplied for each course, based on the number of enrolled students.

  • Trial of eTextbooks on the VitalSource platform

  • VitalSource is a platform for students to purchase or rent etextbooks. Several publishers also rent to libraries and some of their etextbooks are only available on the VitalSource platform. Most publishers base the leasing price for libraries on student enrolment numbers and therefore, the cost per title for libraries is considerably higher than the price set for individual students. This pricing model prevents the library from renting the etextbook as the library is not funded to provide textbooks to every student enrolled in a course.

    As the library is “renting” on the VitalSource platform rather than owning the etextbook outright, the library must pay the publishers every year to ensure ongoing access to each title.

    The library will be trialling access to Cambridge University Press (CUP) etextbooks on the VitalSource platform as they provide:

    • A pricing model that is not based on student enrolment numbers
    • One user access for a 2hr hour loan period (with the remaining number of copies to be supplemented by print)

    Unfortunately, most publishers on the VitalSource platform do not offer the same model as CUP and will not be included in the trial.

    The Library will only provide one-user access to CUP titles on the VitalSource platform as a supplement to print copies acquired for Unit of Study.

  • EndNote

    I’m having problems with Endnote

  • Library Search

    How can I check if the library holds resources in print or online?

    • Sign into Library Search and limit your search to library collections.
    • Check the Library's A-Z Database list.
  • How do I know if the Library has subscription to an ejournal?

  • Please refer to Accessing Library's subscribed ejournals?

  • How do I access HathiTrust Digital Library?

  • You can access HathiTrust Digital Library through A-Z Databases page for additional ebooks

  • How do I know if the Library subscribes to a database?

  • The full list of databases the Library subscribes to can be found on the A-Z database page

  • Why I can’t access an article even though I can find it in Library Search?

  • Why I can’t access an article?

  • Course Reading Links on Canvas don’t work.

  • Please contact the Library over Live Chat, by phone, or submit a question for help.

  • How can I use BrowZine on my iPad/PC

  • For instructions and guide please refer to the BrowZine Guide.

  • How can Lean Library assist me in accessing ejournals and ebooks without accessing the Library webpage.

  • Lean Library is a browser extension for Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera that makes it easier to access electronic resource content subscribed by The University of Sydney Library. Please refer to the Lean Library Guide for steps.

  • Blocked UniKey

    If a client reports their UniKey is blocked

  • If you are seeing the ‘Temporarily Suspended’ screen, this means that your UniKey has been temporary blocked for a short period of time, wait a while and try to login again. The cause may be due to excessive data download. No need to contact the Library as access will be restored after a while.

    If you are seeing the 'Unauthorised screen', this means they your accessing a database that is restricted to certain users. See the Resources restricted to staff and students page, for more information.

    Please refer to UniKey block's and unauthorised message for screenshots of error message and more information.

  • UniKey's/Community ID/Alumni

    Should I login with UniKey or community ID?

  • With some exceptions, all students and staff members receive a UniKey automatically and should use the UniKey login option. Access via UniKey to Library eresources is available to staff and currently enrolled students. Almost all students may only use their UniKey to login. If you are a student and have started to have problems, check if you are in one of the student groups below:

    Which students use Community ID login?
    If you are a postgraduate student who has submitted a thesis and still need library services to complete your degree, a postgraduate research or coursework student whose candidature has been suspended, or a student intending to study a postgraduate or honours degree, you can arrange continued access by applying for a temporary extension through Student Cards. Winter or Summer School students with no UniKey may also apply. You can then use the Community ID to authenticate. Apply for your card

    Staff & University Title Holders must use their UniKey to login. University Title Holders apply for your card

  • How do I know if my UniKey is blocked or if it is an access issue with a database?

  • Please refer to UniKey block's and unauthorised message

  • Which databases are accessible to Alumni users?

  • Alumni users are only able to access online resources listed on themembership page

  • If you can't login, check your browser settings first

  • Firstly, don't use Autocomplete. If your browser is automatically filling out or partially completing one or more of the boxes on the login screen, don't accept what it inserts. Delete the content and type it in afresh.

    If you are using a bookmark to access the Library webpages or a specific resource, delete the bookmark and start afresh by going directly to the Library website.

    Delete your browser cookies and cache/temporary internet files. For help, check your browser's help, or go to WikiHow: How to clear your browser's cache and cookies. If you are using a tablet, go to Settings and clear your browser's History, & Cookies and data.

    Ensure your browser's cookie settings allow third party cookies. For help, check your browser's Help, or go to Wikihow Enable cookies

  • Login help for UniKey users - I'm getting "Unsuccessful Login Attempt"

  • Firstly, check the troubleshooting above under "If you can’t login, try these steps first"

    Even if your UniKey is working elsewhere, Synchronise your UniKey password, wait 20 minutes, then try to login again.

    If you still have a problem, Change your UniKey password, wait 20 minutes, then try to login again.

    For forgotten passwords, or to check that your UniKey account is active, and your password is correct contact the ICT Helpdesk.

  • Login help for Community ID

  • Please refer to How do I set up my Library Community ID

  • Thesis

    Submitted your thesis / suspended or intending honours or post-graduate study?

  • If you are a postgraduate student who has submitted a thesis and still need library services to complete your degree, a postgraduate research or coursework student whose candidature has been suspended, or a student intending to study a postgraduate or honours degree, you can arrange continued access by applying for a temporary Library card. Winter or Summer School students with no UniKey may also apply. You then use Borrower Number on your temporary card. Apply for your card

  • I’m having problems accessing a University of Sydney thesis through the eScholarship Repository

  • Refer to the Sydney eScholarship FAQs

    If you need further help, contact the Sydney sScholarship team

  • Summer/Winter School students

  • If you weren't enrolled in the Semester immediately before your Summer / Winter School class, you will need to arrange a Temporary Library card from Student Cards. You will then login using your name and the Library Borrower number on the card in the bottom set of login boxes.

  • Ordering and Purchasing Electronic Resources

    Can the Library buy individual ebooks found on websites, Google books, Kindle eBooks, Amazon eBooks etc?

    • Ebooks found on some platforms are for personal or individual use only and the Library is unable purchase these for the collection. The Library can only purchase eBooks that provide institutional access in order to comply with copyright and licensing terms of agreement.
    • Platforms that do not provide institutional access include: VitalSource, Wiley Direct,, Rakuten Kabo, Amazon Kindle, Kortext,, RedShelf, Perusall, Numilog ebookstore, Glose.
  • If an ebook has been approved for purchase when will it be available via Library Search?

    • Once an ebook has been ordered from the supplier, it will be available within two weeks.
  • Is the Library able to purchase streaming videos?

    • Kanopy is the primary video streaming platform used by the Library. If a title required for a course or research is available on the Kanopy platform, the Library will purchase a 12-month license for that title (the license will expire after 12 months from the day of purchase).
      • Note 1: Kanopy may lose hosting rights to some titles on their platform. The Library is not notified when this happens. Please contact the Library over Live Chat, by phone, or submit a question if you can no longer access a film on this platform.
      • Note 2: Kanopy no longer sources titles suggested by the Library.
    • If the title is not on Kanopy, the Library will search Artfilms Digital. If available, the Library will purchase a 12-month license on the Artfilms Digital platform.
    • The Library can ask ArtFilms Digital to acquire streaming rights to films that are not on their platform. Artfilms Digital will negotiate with the film rights owners and it can take at least 8 weeks before the Library hears if they have secured streaming rights or not. The Resources Team will notify requesters once they have heard from Artfilms Digital. In the meantime, the Library will try to acquire a DVD copy.
    • The Library cannot subscribe to commercial streaming services such as NetFlix, Stan, Amazon Prime etc, as they are for personal or individual use only and do not offer institutional access.

      *NOTE:Due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on library operations, the Library will only be ordering eBooks, streaming video and providing additional access to online resources until further notice. No physical items including DVDs will be ordered, received or processed during this time.

  • How do I ask the Library to subscribe to an ejournal?

    • All requests for electronic subscriptions or expensive one-off purchases. Please contact the Library through an Academic Liaison Librarian in your subject area, over Live Chat, by phone or submit a question.
  • Ordering and Purchasing – Recommendation List

    • The Library will not be setting up trials for new eresources until further notice.