skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Social media digest: #LibraryLifeHacks 1 - useful information for students


iDiscover tips & tricks

E-resources for use during the Covid-19 lockdown

Referencing drop-ins


iDiscover tips & tricks

Did you know that iDiscover has some useful functions to make it easier to find resources in the format you need (i.e. print or online), and save titles you can’t access right now? Read on for some tips on how to make the most of iDiscover during lockdown!


Login to iDiscover

First of all, when using your own computer, it’s always helpful to be logged in to iDiscover. Being logged in will show you more options and take you to electronic resources without having to enter your Raven password every time. To log in, click on the “Log in to iDiscover” button in the top right corner of the website. Then select “Current staff and students of University of Cambridge” which will take you to the Raven login page and ask for your CRSid and password (unless you’re already logged in to Raven in a different tab, in which case you don’t have to enter your details again!)


Filter by online availability

iDiscover offers some useful filters you can apply to your search results – they appear on the right hand side in a desktop view under the “Refine my results” heading, and you may have already used them, for example to see which books are available in your college or faculty library. Now that the physical libraries are closed, your best filter friends live under “Availability” and “Collection”.

“Availability” distinguishes by the way you can access resources: usually they’re divided into “Available in the Library” and “Full Text Online”. The latter is what you want at the moment! If you select this filter, all results you see will be online resources.

However, there’s something you may have encountered before which can cross your plans to online access: Electronic Legal Deposit. This is a separate kind of e-resource that can only be accessed from special computers in the University Libraries, so it’s a bit useless right now. Luckily you can exclude these items from your search. To do this, you need to scroll to the very bottom of the list of filters. There, under “Collection”, you will find the filter “Electronic Legal Deposit”. However, this is the kind of result we *don’t* want, so you don’t want to select it. Instead, hover over the button until a crossed-out orange tick appears, and select that instead – this way you exclude this kind of title from your results.

Once you’ve applied both of these filters, all of your results should be titles that you can access online from wherever you are. Of course technology isn’t perfect and some results may have slipped through that aren’t properly accessible! If this happens, just email us at and we’ll do our best to sort it out.


Bookmarking titles for later

Lastly, what do you do if a book you want is only available as a print copy? The first thing to do is email us, and we will try to buy an ebook of the title you need. If that isn’t possible (usually because none of our suppliers offer this particular ebook), you will need to find alternative material, but you can also bookmark the title in order to come back to it when the libraries reopen. To add an iDiscover item to your personal list, you need to be logged in to iDiscover (see above). Then, when you’ve selected a result to display in the expanded view, you will find a little symbol that looks like a drawing pin to the right of the resource title. Clicking on the symbol will add the item to your favourites. The pin will also appear in the expanded view of each title, in case you want to check more details first.

You can view your favourites by returning to the main view of iDiscover and clicking on the drawing pin that appears next to your name in the top right corner. If you want to organise them by subject or other features, tick them by clicking on their number and click “Add Labels” to assign them tags.


E-resources for use during the Covid-19 lockdown

Ready to dive into the world of ebooks and e-resources? Librarians have already compiled them for you and provided useful advice!

Make sure to bookmark this list of resources opened for COVID-19 which is regularly updated:

The UL website features comprehensive advice on all support you can get for accessing resources:

And a list of ‘How to’ guides is also available at the ejournals@cambridge blog:

From searching ebooks and ejournals in iDiscover to installing the Lean Library browser extension that will do this search for you – there are many useful lifehacks in these guides!

You can also follow @ebookscamb and @ejournalscamb on Twitter to be the first to know about the latest additions to the university e-resource collections.


Referencing drop-ins

This week we would have held drop-in sessions for referencing questions in advance of the long essay deadline. Instead we’ll be answering your questions online – simply email us at with any queries and we will do our best to help.