Searching for Electronic Resources

Library Services subscribe to a number of electronic services, most of which can be accessed both on and off campus using your Aston username and password..  A good starting point when searching for information is to use Library Search, as this sits on top of our electronic books, journals, databases and journal articles to allow you to search most of our content from a single search box.

You can either do a general topic search or if you know the exact title that you are looking for enter it into the search box and it should appear as one of the first items in your results list.

  • For an eBook click on the link in the record to take you through to the full text of the book
  • For an article click on the View PDF button or View Full Text button which will give you links to the full text

For more in-depth searching you may need to go directly to a database or journal.  If so you can go to:

  •     Databases A-Z - To access a particular database.
  •     Journals - To access a particular journal and search for articles within it
  •     LibGuides - To access electronic resources specific to your subject

How to Access Electronic Resources

Most of our electronic services will need you to log in to access the full text.  As an Aston student you will need to use your Aston username and password provided to you when you first joined the University, which is also used for logging on to a University computer or accessing your email account.  If you are off campus you will need to enter your login details when you click on the link for a full text book or article.

We also advise you to login to Library Search before doing your search.  You can do this by clicking on the sign in link in the top right of the screen. Whenever you are using our electronic resources and you see the following screen you should use your Aston username and password.  Your username should be in the format of

Aston login screen

If you have any problems with logging in you can contact us via LiveChat (use the slide out button at the side of the screen) or email and we will try to assist you.

Having trouble accessing an e-book?

Licence Restrictions
Some e-books are restricted to a single user or 3 concurrent users.  The e-book may have reached the limit of users logged in at the same time.  If this is the case, you can place a reservation or try again later.  If the problem persists please notify your Information Specialist and we will investigate whether we can purchase additional licences.

Hints and Tips

  1. Try clearing the cache of your computer.
  2. Try using a different browser.  Firefox seems to work the best.
  3. Have you downloaded the e-book?  Make sure you have Adobe Digital Editions installed otherwise you will not be able to open the book.

If you experience a problem accessing an e-book please let us know.  Contact your Information Specialist with the details of the book you are trying to access.  A screenshot of the error message is also really useful.

E-book platforms explained

EBook Central

ProQuest EBook Central icon

Ebook Central is a large database covering multiple subjects. The Library has provided access to over 120,000 e-books on this platform, all of which are available via Library Search. 

Features include:

  • Online reading
  • Downloading chapters
  • Downloading entire e-books for 14 days
  • Making notes within e-books
  • Exporting citations in to EndNote

Further help can be found in the Ebook Central How to Guides.



The Library purchases individual titles from EBSCOhost e-books and also provides access to a large Business collection. All titles are available via Library Search.   

Features include:

In order to download the e-book, you'll need to log in to your Ebsco account. You can create an account at the time you download the item. 


The Library purchases individual titles from VLeBooks and they are available to search via Library Search.  

Features include:

  • Online reading Downloading up to 5 e-books at a time for 1-7 days
  • Reserving up to 5 titles that are already in use
  • Adding notes and bookmarks to e-books
  • Exporting citations in to EndNoteNew

More help can be found in the VLeBooks user guide


Kortext ebooks

Watch this 'Getting started' video to explore Kortext ebook functionality or go to a section of your choice:

  •     General navigation - 0:14
  •     Reference export - 0:46
  •     Navigation toolbar, notes and bookmarks - 1:17
  •     Printing pages - 2:34
  •     Accessibility - 2:52
  •     Tests, videos and resources - 3:37
  •     Kortext bookshelf - 4:17
  •     Exporting references (Endnote and Refworks) - 4:39
  •     Groups and sharing - 5:05