Logging in to online resources
Working on-site on an Imperial computer
If you are using a computer connected to the Imperial College London network and have logged in with your College username and password, you will be able to access most e-journals, e-books and databases directly and will not need to sign in again.
For full access you must be a member of Imperial and have a current computer account (College username and password).
For information about visitor access see Membership and borrowing.
Resources with username and password access only
A small number of resources only allow access with a specific username and password. These resources requires a username and password whether you are accessing from the College network or from off-site.
For a list of these resources with their usernames and passwords visit our password list (log in with your College username and password).
If you are using a computer that is not connected to the College network you can access online resources using the remote access methods below.
Remote access methods
Locate Library Search on the library website and search for the resource you would like to access.
In the search results, click on Online access under the resource name and log in with your College username and password.
When you have logged in you will be able to access the resource as if you are connected to the College network. You may see a banner or text indicating that access is brought to you by Imperial College London - this confirms you are connected via the College network.
Library Search in Google Scholar
You can link to Library Search from Google Scholar. This is a useful option for frequent users of Google Scholar.
Once set up, Google Scholar search results display a link to Library Search (named ‘Find at Imperial') from which you can access the resources if the Library subscribes to them. Click on the link to go to the Library Search record where you will be asked to log in with your College username and password.
To set up Library Search in Google Scholar:
- go to Settings
- choose Library Links
- search for Imperial College London in the search box
- tick Imperial College London – Find at Imperial
- click on Save
By adding Bookmarklet to your browser, you will be able to access the electronic resources provided by Library Services directly from their hosting websites. This is a more straightforward access method if you know that we definitely subscribe to the electronic resources you would like to access.
When you locate the journal or the article required, clicking on Bookmarklet will allow you to log in with your College username and password.
Institutional Login (Shibboleth / UK Access Management Federation)
If you are locating papers via a search engine such as Google you can use your College username and password to access online resources direct from publisher’s website using Institutional Login, if the publisher supports this type of authentication.
You may see the term 'Shibboleth’ which refers to the technology behind 'Institutional Login'.
If you see Institutional Login or Login via an Institution enter Imperial College London in the search box.
Some publishers will ask you to choose ‘Your institution’s region or group’. Imperial is part of the UK Access Management Federation - choose UK Access Management Federation and then Imperial College London.
Log in with your College username and password.
The service will recognise that you are from Imperial and you will be able to access all subscribed resources from the publisher’s website.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) (not recommended)
You can establish a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for remote access to the Library's electronic resources but we highly recommend you not choose this option as it can create a security issue.
Library Search, Bookmarklet and Institutional Login are more secure and straightforward options. If you wish to go ahead with VPN, see Virtual private network (VPN) for further information.
Online resources for Alumni
A growing number of online resources are available for remote access by alumni. Their use is strictly for non-commercial purposes and you must adhere to licence restrictions.