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e-Resources, RBR and Exam Papers: About

What are E-Resources?



E-resources are part of the “Invisible Web” which is essentially information accessible through the Internet but normally cannot be found on Google. Most E-resources are not freely available to everyone on the World Wide Web (exceptions are free or Open Access resources) and they may not appear on search engines like Google.


Most E-resources subscribed by the NUS libraries contain password-protected Web contents which are available only to staff and students generally via the Library portal or library search systems like FindMore, LINC/LINC+.


If you try to access E-resources without going through the library portal, you may not be able to authenticate and gain access to the resource. Workarounds for this include:


[FAQS] Problems accessing E-resources?

A specific e-resource seems to be down? Check to see if it has been reported.

Due to strict licensing agreements, e-resources usage is strictly for current NUS students and staff only. 

Access should be via your NUSNET ID and password (same as accessing your NUS email). 

Search FAQS

How to access E-Resources from the Library portal?

An E-resource can be:

  • a bibliographic or full text database that allows you to search for relevant articles in your subject area
  • a book, journal or newspaper that has been made available in electronic format
  • a set of web pages


1. At the Library portal (, select the "E-Resources" tab. Search for the required E-resource title:


Please note this does not search by article title, you should enter journal name (e.g "Journal of sociology"). If you need to search for articles, use one of the options below.



Looking for articles on a certain topic - what should I use?

Due to the nature of scholarly communications today, where journal articles are locked up in different silos and databases, there is no one search that covers every scholarly item in the world. So what should you use?

 The following three search services probably cover the most resources in one search. 

  • FindMore@NUSL - The Library Discovery search service that covers most but not all of our online journals articles, books and more. Provides a reasonable amount of features for filtering and refinement of results.
  • Google Scholar - Google's search engine that covers "scholarly material" including a lot of free or open access material but may present results you have no access to. 

Sometimes, more is not necessarily better, so you might want to start with a more focused subject specific database as it may be easier to find what you need, rather than looking through thousands of results.


Search Options Pros Cons When to use 

Simple to use.

Includes all NUS Libraries' books & most online material in one search.

Full-text search of many books & journal articles.

Allows some refinement & filtering of results.

Some online material is not included.

Excludes print articles.

Lacks more advanced search features for filtering & precise controlled searching compared to specialised subject databases.

May give too many results, difficult to find what you need. (Try these tips)

Need a few articles on a topic & not sure where to start.

Doing cross disciplinary research, eg compare how same jargon is used across fields.

Very obscure topic with few results.

Google Scholar

Good relevancy ranking.

Very broad search.

"Cited by" & Google Scholar alerts.

Will include lots of material, you cannot access unless you request for purchase via document delivery service

Even less advanced filters than FindMore@NUSL

Metadata from Google Scholar is often inaccurate .

Google Scholar's definition of what is "scholarly" is unclear.

There is no confirmed list of sources covered by Google Scholar so you do not know how much of a certain Journal is included in the search.

Getting full-text from Google Scholar is a bit more difficult, though the Google Scholar Library links programme & proxy bookmarklet help. 

Possibly weaker coverage in some areas like Business compared to Science or Computer Science.

When you need to do a very broad search & are willing to look through lots of results.

Very obscure topic with few results.

You do not mind looking at some results you cannot access, or are willing to wait to request the article via document delivery service.

Specialised subject databases

Very focused search that will only give you results from a certain discipline.

Powerful search features that may allow you to get exactly what you want without looking through thousands of results.

May include resources or items not found in other more general searches.

Interface maybe more difficult to use.

The search is very precise and often unforgiving and you usually end up with almost exactly what you want or zero results.

Some of the databases will list items we have in print only, or may not be accessible unless you request for purchase via document delivery service. 

You are comfortable with Boolean searching and need to do a comprehensive, thorough literature search in the area.

You need a specific feature for discipline-specific needs. 







1) Use FindMore@NUSL



FindMore@NUSL is a new search service launched by NUS Libraries in Dec 2012. It is similar to Google Scholar (see below) in that it obtains article level data from each source directly and stores in one place, allowing you to search a large number of items with one search. Other than articles, it also covers what is in our library catalogue and ScholarBank@NUS - our institutional repository, which includes ETD (Electronic Theses & Dissertations).

Currently, as of Dec 2012, there are over 312 million items in FindMore@NUSL and rising as we add more journals. Most of the items shown will have full text for free or via NUS Libraries' subscriptions.

Similar to Google Scholar, this service does not include everything NUS has access to, for various reasons. One of which is that the  publisher has no arrangements with this service, thus we cannot add article level data into the system. 

Unlike Google Scholar, FindMore@NUSL has more powerful filtering features, like refining by subject terms or content type, and the ability to refine to just items in a peer reviewed journal. FindMore@NUSL is reflective of NUS Libraries' collection and will show items you mostly have access to, unlike Google Scholar.

Please note that this service only lists online journal articles, so it will not find journal articles that we may have in print only.

For more details about this service see FAQs


2) Use Google Scholar (with Proxy Bookmarklet or Library Links programme)



Similar to FindMore@NUSL, Google Scholar is one platform which:

  • collects or harvests and/or crawl (index) data from each publisher separately and store it at one place. Like FindMore@NUSL, this allows the return of more consistent, normalized and most importantly speedy results.
  • allows you to search not just articles from commercial publishers but also open access subject and institutional repositories (such as arxiv, PMC etc).

Please note that while Google Scholar's collection is vast, it does not have permission to access every publishers' site, and unlike FindMore@NUSL, it does not include our library catalogue. 

FindMore and Google Scholar overlaps but you may find some material in FindMore@NUSL which is not in Google Scholar or vice versa.

Do be careful and note that not every item showed by Google Scholar is actually "scholarly".

Google Scholar may also show results from Google Books but not all will be available at NUS Libraries.

It is difficult to limit Google Scholar to showing only what we have access to. To facilitate search, we have registered with the Google Scholar Library Links programme, enabling you to set up your preferences to display a "Find it!@NUS Libraries" link, if Google Scholar thinks we have access to the online article. However, note this does not apply to books, and it is not 100% reliable.

Another way is to use the proxy bookmarklet to help check availability. Word of caution - this could be frustrating as you may see many results we do not have access to.  



3)Specialised subject databases

Google Scholar and FindMore@NUSL tend to generate a lot of results due to the breadth and scope of the search.  Although this is  great for cross disciplinary searches or when searching for specific articles, sometimes it might be better to focus on a more specific subject-related database such as EconLit , Sociological abstracts, IEEE, Philosophers' index etc.

Such searches often include articles not included in Google Scholar, FindMore@NUSL and/or may offer more powerful search functions specific to the discipline to allow more powerful searches to ensure you do not miss anything.

Not sure which database to use? Go to the appropriate Subject Guide to check what is recommended by our librarians.

Want a more complete list of databases or journals by discipline? Try the following

a) Browse Databases by subject 

b) Browse Journals by subject  

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