Skip to Main Content

Library: Getting Started


Academic Services Librarian 

The named librarian available to help you find information for your assignments.  They can also help with citing and referencing. You will meet the Academic Services Librarian for your school during the first few weeks of term. 


Archives are collections of unique research and historical records and objects documenting the history and cultural heritage of a place, institution, or community. UEL’s archives hold collections related to theatre studies, refugee and forced migration studies and sports science.

Citing and Referencing 

This is how you acknowledge the articles, books and other resources that you have used when doing your assignments.  Accurate referencing and citing is good academic practice and helps you to avoid plagiarism.  Citations appear in your essay and show what source you are referring to.  References are at the end of your work and give the full details of the source so the person reading it can find it.  

There are many styles of citing and referencing, your module handbooks will give guidance on what style you should use and your lecturer will be able to help if you are in any doubt.  Your Academic Services Librarian can help you with citing and referencing. 

Cite Them Right 

An online guide to referencing that guides you trough how to reference books, journals, articles, websites and more.  It  includes guidance and examples for a number of different referencing styles, especially Harvard.  You can access Cite Them Right through the Library Intranet. 

Collaborative study 

Spaces in the libraries where you can talk and work together 

Digital First Aid (DFA) 

The Library’s service available to help you with a range of IT and digital skills.  Our Digital First Aiders are also students at UEL and can help with a range of IT related queries including connecting to WiFi and using Teams and other software packages.  Enquiries relating to passwords should be directed to IT. 

Group study rooms 

Rooms in the libraries that you can book to study together in groups 

Institutional login 

A system used to control access to ebooks, online journals, and databases.  The system we use is called OpenAthens and you will see both terms used on the online resources.  Selecting University of East London from a list of institutions will allow you to login with your UEL username and password.  

Inter-Library Loan (ILL) 

If the library do not have a book or article in stock we can request it from another library as an inter-library loan.  



The name of our free e-textbook scheme.  All eligible students will receive one free core e-textbook per module that is theirs to keep. 


The word(s) used to search a database or Library Search that is relevant to your topic. 


The name of the platform through which your KeyText is available.

Library, Archives and Learning Services (LALS) 

The name for the library and archives service here at UEL.  There are two libraries, one at Docklands in the Docklands Library building and one at Stratford in the Stratford Library building. 

Library Chat 

Our online chat service where you can get help from UEL Library staff.  This is available 24/7 with librarians from other countries around the world providing basic support overnight and at weekends.  

Library Search 

The Library’s catalogue of books and journals that you have access to throughout your studies at UEL, showing you where they are and how to access them. 

More Books 

You can ask us to buy a book that is not currently available in our collections through the More Books scheme 

OpenAthens – see Institutional login 

Open Access 

Scholarly research articles and publications that are freely available to read online 

Quiet study 

Spaces in the libraries reserved for individual quiet study; brief whispered conversations are permitted, but not group work 

Returns bin 

If the library is closed, or if further Covid restrictions are imposed, you can also return books by putting them in the returns bin.  You can also return items in the returns bin at USS.  Items returned in these bins will be removed from your account on the next working day (or longer if further quarantine restrictions are imposed). 


SCONUL Access 

A scheme that allows you to access other university libraries for study space and access to their printed collections.  This scheme is currently suspended due to Covid-19 and will restart when restrictions permit.


The machines you can use to borrow library books.  You will need your ID card to use these.  


The machines you can use to return library books. These will be removed from your account when you use the machine. 


Outside core hours the libraries operate on a self-service basis.  All library spaces and facilities are open, but there is no enquiry service available during these hours.


The number a book is shelved at in the library.  Books are shelved in numerical order by shelf-mark.  Books at the same number are then shelved alphabetically according to the three letters after the shelf-mark.  Books on the same topic will have the same number.

Silent study 

Spaces in the libraries reserved for studying in silence

Staffed hours

The hours when you can get help from library staff, in person and online.  These vary throughout the year, depending on vacations etc, and are kept updated in the intranet and website.

Outside staffed hours you can get basic help in finding and using resources on Library Chat from a team of librarians around the world.  They will be unable to help with complex enquiries or resolve account issues, but they will pass them on for library staff to reply to on our return.

UEL Research Repository 

Our online platform that stores and shares publications, data, and other research from UEL researchers