Using library resources

A comprehensive literature search means you access and read a wide range of material about your topic. These may be in 'hard copy' (this means as a physical resource in a UoB or external library) or as digital resources (like ebooks, ejournals and high quality websites). 

Below is a list of search tools and resources available via the library.

You can find books and electronic books (ebooks) by searching the library catalogue

You can also find journal titles and databases here - but you cannot search for individual journal articles on the library catalogue.

DISCOVER is your single search tool that allows you to search most of the electronic resources and the catalogue simultaneously and provides you with current availability information on library catalogue items. 

Results from any electronic resource can be saved to your personal folder, and your saved preferences are available using DISCOVER

Education Research Complete Includes citations and abstracts from more than 2,400 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,300 journals. It also includes full text for over 500 books and monographs, and 3,000 full text for numerous education-related conference papers.  This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.

British Education Index  An education database indexing almost 300,000 articles from peer-reviewed journals, UK Theses and much more. This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.

ERIC Is an important American database providing access to more than 1.6 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials and, if available, includes links to full text. This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.

Education Abstracts Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 1,000 periodicals and yearbooks, dating as far back as 1969. This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.

Educational Administration Abstracts Includes bibliographic records for 160,000 items, covering areas related to educational administration, including educational leadership, educational management, educational research, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.

Child Development and Adolescent Studies This bibliographic database is today's source for references to the current and historical literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21.  This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.

Teacher Reference Center Provides indexing and abstracts for 230 peer-reviewed journals.  This database is included in DISCOVER, so when you search there you will be searching across this one too.


Academic Search Complete Covers most areas of academic study and provides full text for more than 8,500 full-text periodicals, including more than 7,300 peer-reviewed journals. Includes a large number of education journals published in Britain and other parts of the world. Included in DISCOVER.

JSTOR This database includes over 1,700 academic journals with full text available back to the first volume. The subject coverage is broad across the arts, humanities, social sciences, law, life sciences and health. Included in DISCOVER.

Library Hub Discover (formerly COPAC) An excellent source of information about books published in Britain and throughout the world, it gives access to the merged online catalogues of 110 major British research libraries, including the British Library. Not included in DISCOVER.

PsycINFO The database of the American Psychological Association (APA). Excellent starting point for psychology related material such as cognitive development, child behaviour and learning theories. Included in DISCOVER.

PsycARTICLES  From the American Psychological Association (APA), is a definitive source of full text, peer-reviewed scholarly and scientific articles in psychology. It contains more than 200,000 articles from 100 journals. Included in DISCOVER.

Scopus This database indexes a high number of peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers across the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. Its content is included in DISCOVER but the individual database also encompasses tools to track citations so you can see how often and where a paper has been cited. 

SocIndex with Full Text A wide-ranging social science database with links to some full text articles. Included in DISCOVER.

SPORTDiscus with full text This database provides full text for periodical articles and book chapters covering all areas of sport and exercise. Included in DISCOVER.

Repository (UoB) The University of Bedfordshire Repository is an open access repository giving you access to the continuing research activity undertaken at the university.

Web of Science A research database (citations only) covering a wide range of subjects.  Useful User guide. Included in DISCOVER.


Credo Reference A searchable collection containing 100 reference sources including subject dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical sources and quotations. Contains over 150,000 entries of facts, words, concepts, and people.

Oxford Reference Online brings together language and subject reference works from one of the world's biggest reference publishers (Oxford University Press) into a single cross-searchable resource.The Core Collection contains over 100 dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press. The Premium Collection offers all of the above, plus information across a broad subject range from titles in the Oxford Companions Series. Video tutorial.

Newsbank contains the full text of many UK newspapers, both local and national. 

UK Newspapers (Lexis Library) This is a collection of newspapers in the Lexis Library database. Lexis is primarily a law resource, but can also be used to search newspaper articles. Includes TES and Times Higher Education.

EThos A database of over a quarter of a million records of doctoral dissertations from UK Higher Education. Some Phd theses are available as full text. Individual registration is required to download the full text of a thesis, but is not necessary for searching the database and viewing bibliographic records.

Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) This is an index of over 3.5 million electronic theses and dissertations, freely available online.

Free resources

Below is a list of free resources that may be of use.

You have probably regularly use search engines like Google to find information but you might want to consider exploring some of the following websites to target high quality resources.

Campbell Collaboration is an international, voluntary, non-profit research network that publishes systematic reviews. The Campbell Reviews summarise and evaluate the quality of evidence about programmes in social and behavioural sciences. Their aim is to help people make better choices and better policy decisions.

BBC Bitesize has a wealth of information related to TV programmes, radio, teaching resources and revision aids.

Google Scholar concentrates on academic-quality resources.  The good stuff (recent and relevant) is often behind firewalls so you'll need to sign-in as a UoB student when prompted - because of this many people prefer to start from with DISCOVER.

Higher Education Empirical Research (HEER) Database The database is an archive of summaries of published research on a range of topics related to higher education.

International Education Research Database A bibliographic database of research articles related to international education.

MESH (Mapping Educational Specialist Knowhow) guides are a useful source for connecting educators with summaries and sources of educational research.



There is a vast array of "official" and professional resources you can tap into to support your understanding of legislation, guidelines and new practices. 

Department for Education Publications related to the work of the Department, which is concerned with all aspects of policy affecting children and young people.

DERA Digital Education Repository Archive  from the Institute of Education. DERA is a digital archive of documents published electronically by government and other relevant bodies in the areas of education, training, children and families. It includes full text links to Government documents past and present.

Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) Links to Inspection reports and to Publications and research concerned with standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills.

Education & Skills Funding Agency The ESFA brings together the former responsibilities of the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) to create a single agency accountable for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults.

Get into teaching Details on the different training routes into teaching.

Standards and Testing Agency (STA) Is the executive agency for the Department for Education and is responsible for the development and delivery of all statutory assessments from early years to the end of Key Stage 3.

Teaching Regulation Agency Responsible for the regulation of the teaching profession, including misconduct hearings and the maintenance of the database of qualified teachers.

Subject related Professional Associations

The Council for Subject Associations

Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT)

Association for Language Learning 

Association for Physical Education (AFPE)

Association for Science Education (ASE)

The Association of Teachers of Mathematics

British Educational Research Association (BERA)

Children's Literature Association

Computing at School (CAS)

Design and Technology Association

English Association 

Geographical Association

Historical Association

Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISC)

Information Technology in Teacher Education (ITTE)

The Joint Mathematical Council of the United Kingdom

Mathematical Association

Media Education Association

Music Mark - The UK Association for Music Education

NAACE Education technology Association 

NALDIC - The National Subject Association for EAL

National Association of Special Education Needs (NASEN)

National Drama

National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD)

National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE)

National Association of Teachers of Religious Education (NATRE)

National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE)

One Dance UK

Professional Association of Teachers of Students with Specific Learning Difficulties (PATOSS)

PSHE Association

United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA)


Advance HE Supports the enhancement of learning and teaching in higher education inn the UK. Advises on policies and practices relating to the student experience, curriculum developments, assessment and much more.

National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Independent provider of education research and insights.

Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) aims to stimulate and coordinate research into all aspects of higher education.



Office for National Statistics UK's exhaustive collection of statistics which includes downloadable charts and reports.

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) brings together a wide range of statistics relating the HE sector.

Teaching Practice Collection

The Teaching Practice resource collection is located on the top floor of Bedford Library and consists of books for children organised in four sequences - non-fiction, storybooks, picture books and big books. Most of them are at primary or middle school level but there is a good selection of adolescent fiction. All the books are included in the library catalogue. You can limit your search to this collection by selecting 'Teaching Practice' under the drop down menu 'View Entire Collection'.

In addition you'll also find a wide range of items you can take into the classroom to enhance your teaching, these include: Audio-visual materials and objects, posters, wallcharts, resource packs, games, storysacks and boxes of artefacts.

You can borrow 20 items from the Teaching Practice collection (this is in addition to the 20 items from the rest of the collection).  The loan period for Teaching Practice materials is one term.

Hockliffe Collection of Early Children's Books

Hockliffe Collection

This collection of over a thousand British children's books published between 1685 and the mid-twentieth century is housed in Bedford Library. The collection includes novels, nursery stories, fairy tales, Bibles, books of instruction and texts covering geography, travel and history. Introductory essays help to relate the books and their contents to the history of the writing and publication of books for children.


Education in Video is available via Alexander Street Press.  It includes excellent instructional videos showing classroom footage and covers all areas of teaching from bullying to primary science.

You may also find the British Library's archive of sound recordings useful.  It includes everything from readings of traditional stories like Anansi to British birdsong.

Click here for all the details about Open Access resources

Associate members

If your course only qualifies you for Associate membership of the university library, this will restrict the resources available to you slightly. 

Some of our databases can be used within the library and a full list is available here.

For a list of free 'education' related resources see the links above.


International Education

Some specialist databases and websites for finding information relating to education overseas are also provided below.

British Education Index - database indexing articles from peer-reviewed journals, report literature, conference proceedings, trade magazines, patents, articles from the popular press, and many other publications. 

Education Research Complete - citations and abstracts from more than 2,100 journals, as well as full text for more than 1,200 journals. It also includes full text for nearly 500 books and monographs, and full text for numerous education-related conference papers.

ERIC - important American database providing access to more than 1.2 million bibliographic records of journal articles and other education-related materials.

Chinese ERIC

German Education Index Professional educational information in Germany


Eldis at 

OECD at iLibrary or the education area at

The World Bank at - holds a wealth of information covering education including statistics, projects, reports and publications.

UNESCO to research education topics start at; for information on individual countries use the UNESCO World Data on Education at

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