Can I use e-resources when I am away from Oxford?

13 April 2017 - The Bodleian Libraries has recently reviewed reader access to e-resources to ensure access aligns with agreed reader card entitlements and complies with agreements with publishers. If your access to e-resources has changed please check your entitlements including details on other options for accessing e-resources.

Entitlements: access to licensed electronic resources

Conditions for off-site access to licensed electronic resources

The Bodleian Libraries are subject to conditions on the use of the licensed electronic resources they provide.

Readers eligible for on-site AND off-site access to licensed electronic material

Individuals who have been given a secure authentication login (Single Sign-on) by the University of Oxford AND who are one of the following user-types ('Authorised Users') may use electronic resources both on-site and off-site for non-commercial purposes:

  • a current student of the University of Oxford;
  • a member of University of Oxford staff (including retired members in receipt of a University pension);
  • a contractor / supplier of the University of Oxford; or
  • an alumnus of the University (limited access).

A full list noting University card entitlements can be found on chart 3 on IT Services' Card and IT service entitlements page.

Readers eligible to access licensed material on-site only

Any individual who is a registered user of the Libraries but does not meet the criteria for being an Authorised User (see above) is known as a 'Walk-in User' for licensing purposes. Walk-in Users may use electronic resources for non-commercial purposes via any secure network on Libraries premises but may not access licensed material off-site.


A small number of electronic resources have different, specific licence conditions. If in any doubt, please speak to a member of staff in one of the Bodleian Libraries or contact us in any of these ways:

Options for readers not eligible for off-site access to licensed material

If your reader's card does not allow you off-site/remote access to licensed material there are a few options to explore:

  1. Check that you have the correct reader's card to which you are entitled
  2. Access e-resources as an Alumni of Oxford University
  3. Visit Bodleian Libraries site as all Bodleian card holders can access e-resources 'onsite'.

Technical details for accessing e-resources

Working within the University network

If you are a member of Oxford University and are using a PC, Mac or Unix workstation within the domain, you will be able to access most electronic resources without requiring a username and/or password.

Working outside the University network

Off-site access (without VPN) to all e-resources

Use the 'Log In' on SOLO or OxLIP+ and your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO). This will give remote access to all databases, electronic reference works, e-book and e-journal packages that are controlled via IP-recognition. This includes virtually all e-resources; exceptions are listed below:

Digimap, Zetoc, Crossfire, ESDS: users will be prompted for SSO when accessing service.

Remote access to all e-journals is also possible directly from OU e-Journals. Users will be prompted to log on with their Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) when clicking through from the list of e-journal titles to the individual journal homepage.

Remote access to e-journals is also possible by clicking on the OU e-Journals link when logged in to OxLIP+.

For advice on access to legal databases please contact the law librarians at

If you have any concerns or would like more information please email

Off-site access (using VPN)

It is also still possible to be allocated an Oxford IP address through the University's Virtual Private Network (VPN) service although no longer necessary for access to electronic resources. This requires registering for a remote access username and password and installing VPN software on your PC. More information about the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.


If the e-resource you are trying to access is asking you for an institutional log-in, make sure you have followed the instructions outlined above (Off campus access (without VPN) to all e-resources) and linked to the resource either from SOLO or Databases A-Z using your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) username and password.This will authenticate you as a member of the University, entitled to access these subscription-based e-resources.

You will not be able to access these resources just by typing the name into a search engine (e.g. Google) and clicking on the link from the results list. 

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