The Radcliffe Science Library is CLOSED today

Unfortunately we have to close the Radcliffe Science Library IMMEDIATELY today, Thursday 21 March, due to a burst water pipe. We expect to open as normal tomorrow, Friday 22 March.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Other Bodleian libraries are not affected, please try using one of the other Bodleian Libraries.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.

Sorry we're closed sign

Credit: Geralt, Pixabay

Do you need a book or resource that we don’t currently stock?

We have a wide range of books and resources at the RSL – but if we don’t have what you want, we can try and source or purchase it for you, via our Recommend a Purchase scheme.

Photo (c) John Cairns

If a book or another resource that you need for your studies or research is not currently held in the libraries or online, we will be happy to find it for you, if we can. The Recommend a Purchase option is a valuable additional tool, and we welcome suggestions and recommendations from both students and staff.

You can submit a request via Bodleian Libraries website (SSO required) – but before submitting a request, do check SOLO to make sure the resource is not already available in Oxford. You can also use our inter-library loan service.

Our specialist subject librarians liaise with various divisions and departments to ensure we purchase books and resources that are useful and meet the requirements of both staff and students. When completing the form, please give us as much detail as possible about the book or resource that you are recommending – the more information you give, the more helpful it will be for us.

We can purchase print books and e-books where they are available. This can include out-of-print books, and foreign language material.

Your request will then be passed on to the relevant subject librarian for consideration, and you will be notified of the outcome in due course.


Credit: Arcaion, Pixabay

ORA AI Collection

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have existed as areas of research for many years but recently these areas have come to the forefront in research in many different disciplines. There are many departments and groups across the University of Oxford that are using and developing AI tools in their research. Many of these research projects have practical applications in medicine, the environment, business and many other areas of society.

Image shows many bubbles cascading out from a central, larger sphere.

Image created by Nidia Dias as part of the Visualising AI project launched by Google DeepMind. Free to use under the Unsplash License

The Bodleian Libraries have recently launched the ORA (Oxford Research Archive) collection on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning available from the homepage of ORA (Oxford Research Archive), the institutional repository for the University of Oxford.

The ORA AI collection gathers AI-related research on many journal articles, conference papers, working papers, preprints, and more – produced by the members of the University of Oxford and mostly available in full text on ORA. The ORA AI homepage also provides links to Oxford AI-related research activities and to research information included in a range of other platforms.

Image shows the sillouette of a human head with scientific symbols.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC 4.0

To mark the launch of the ORA AI collection, an event showcasing current research on AI and Machine Learning from DPhil students and early career researchers will be held on the 19th March, 10 -11.30am in the Taylor Institution.

Research Data Management

Making your Data do More

Scientific research often revolves around dealing with data. This could be analysing existing data for new insights, tracking down data in publications or online databases, or creating entirely new data sets through lab, clinic and field work. It’s the data that helps you test hypotheses and provides the supporting evidence for conclusions in published papers and theses.

Graphic of various graphs and charts showing different data

Data comes in many forms

Data comes in all different forms from DNA sequences and mass spectrometer readings to interviews with patients, software code and rock samples. Whatever the data, making sure you have good systems in place to manage that data can help ensure that your data is :

Safe – keeping backups and storing data securely can help prevent loss of vital research and avoid running into legal problems when dealing with sensitive data.

Reusable – making sure that data is well documented and in standardised formats can ensure that it continues to be meaningful and reusable by yourself and others.

Shared – Although not all research data can be shared, making data available in online repositories and archives can help speed up scientific research and save money by removing the need to recreate existing data sets and allowing others to analyse data in new and different ways.

Preserved – Archiving data in repositories can ensure that data being generated now can be fully available to the scientists of the future.

Reliable – Data management can improve confidence in the reliability of data and help to demonstrate ethical research practice and research reproducibility.

Citable – Just like a journal article, a dataset can be cited. By sharing and making data sets citable you’ll get credit and recognition for data as another valuable research output in its own right.

Research data management helps you embed sound data management practices into your work. However, getting started can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, the University of Oxford provides you with a whole range of support in this area.

Working together, the Bodleian Libraries, IT Services, Research Services and other groups around the University provide the resources, tools, information and training you need. To help provide guidance to researchers, the University has recently published its latest University of Oxford Research Data Management Policy. This policy is supported by the redeveloped Research Data Oxford (RDO) website which now offers improved access to all the information you need about research data management at the University.

If you’re new to research data management, start here for a gentle and friendly introduction – Or, even quicker, you can watch the one minute introduction to Research Data Management below.

Still got questions? No problem! We have a dedicated team that can answer research data management questions –

Other Bodleian Libraries

Spaces, spaces, where are the spaces?

Since the RSL reopened in October 2023 we have had record numbers of students through our doors. We’re very pleased to have so many people using the library but we’re aware that this busyness has a downside. We’d love to fit everyone into the RSL but we only have so many seats (226 for now). We’re looking into possibilities to get more seating in the library but in the short term we have some suggestions.

Book a group study room

If you are working with friends or colleagues consider booking one of our group study rooms. The group study rooms can be booked up to 10 weeks in advance.

Photograph of Group Study Room 1 showing a desk surrounded by 6 chairs with a screen on the wall.

If you are working alone, you can book one of our individual study carrels by emailing

Avoid peak times

The library tends to get quite busy between 11 and 3pm. You could try coming earlier in the morning, we open at 9am. During term we are open until 10pm so consider an evening session of study.

Photograph of several students in the RSL reading room.

Photograph by John Cairns.

Try one of the other Bodleian Libraries

As wonderful as the RSL is we just can’t fit everyone, but there are 25 other wonderful Bodleian Libraries that you can try. As a member of the University, you have access to all the Bodleian Libraries. A full list is available on the Bodleian Libraries website along with a list of all the different group study rooms available. The list includes information on room size and how to book so check it out.

We have also highlighted some of the Bodleian Libraries sites that are near the RSL so you don’t have to walk too far.

Bodleian Law Library

The Law Library isn’t just for lawyers. Located a few minutes from the RSL in the St Cross Building, the library has four spacious floors of study spaces including individual study carrels and group study rooms which can be booked online. The main entrance to the Law Library is at second floor level via a set of 36 steps, but there is an alternative entrance at the front of the building for those who can’t use stairs. More information on how to access the building is available on the their website. During term the Missing Bean café is open in the St Cross Building.

Photograph of students and desks in the Law Library taken from above. By John Cairns.

photo (c) John Cairns

Social Science Library

Located next door to the Law Library, in the Manor road building, the Social Science Library (SSL) hosts a range of well-lit seating areas. The library is located all on one floor so it is accessible to most people. The SSL also has two bookable group study rooms and ten soundproofed study carrels. The carrels work on a first come, first served basis. There is a café in the Manor Road building also has a café and comfortable seating are on the first floor. During term, the SSL is also open until 10pm.

Photograph of a workspace in the Social Science Library with white desks and bright pink chairs.

photo (c) John Cairns

Taylor Institution Library

For those who prefer a more classical library, the Taylor, established in 1845 is an excellent choice. Enter on St Giles through the majestic columns, to gain access to five floors of library space. The main entrance has ramp access but due to the age of the building some parts of the library are not accessible. More details are available on the website.

Photograph of a student at a desk in the Taylorian Institute reading room.

photo (c) John Cairns

Exterior photograph of the Taylor Institute, Ashmolean Museum.

Image By Philip Halling, CC BY-SA 2.0

Vere Harmsworth Library

Our home away from home. We shared a space with the Vere Harmsworth Library, located in the Rothermere American Institute, for over 3 years. Now that the RSL has moved out there is even more space available. They also have group study rooms that can be booked online and seating areas across multiple floors.

Students sitting at desks in the Vere Harmsworth Library. e Vere

Weston Library

It’s the big building at the end of Broad Street, you can’t miss it. Along with the three main reading rooms there are further sofas and comfortable seating outside the reading rooms. Every floor is accessible by lift or stairs so everyone can use the space. Excellent for those who enjoy silent study. If you need a break from studying you can pop down to the café or check out the excellent exhibitions in Blackwell Hall.

External photograph of the Weston Library by James Brittain.

Image credit: James Brittain.

Photograph of the Weston Library Manuscripts Reading Room by John Cairns.

photo (c) John Cairns

These are just a few of the many sites available across the Bodleian Libraries. Try exploring them all and see which is your favourite.

Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO)

ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online) logo

  1. Reading Lists:

    Reading lists are collections of materials such as books, chapters, journal articles, and more, recommended by your tutor for your studies. These lists can be distributed in print or electronically through platforms like email, Canvas, or ORLO.

  2. Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO):

    ORLO is an online system for accessing reading lists at the University of Oxford. It offers features such as checking the availability of print items in the library, accessing full-text electronic resources using ‘View Online’ buttons, and aiding time efficiency in your studies.

  3. Accessing ORLO:

    You can find your course’s reading list through the ORLO homepage or your course’s Canvas site. If your course isn’t on ORLO, you can contact your Subject Librarian or email for assistance. Note that most ORLO lists are private and require an Oxford Single Sign On (SSO) for access.

    Two students are sitting at a desk reading text books

    photo (c) John Cairns

  4. Tips for Using ORLO:

    • Download and Export: You can download an ORLO list in PDF format with retained links or as a RIS file for citation management.
    • Reading Intentions and Notes: Set private reading intentions to plan your studies and add personal notes to items.
    • Filter and Search: Use filters and the search bar to quickly find specific readings or types of resources.
    • Save Lists: Save lists to your profile for future reference, even after the academic year ends.
    • Report Broken Links: If ‘View Online’ links are broken, you can report them and get notified when they’re fixed (click the three dots on the far right of the reading list item and select ‘Report broken link’).
    • View Other Formats: Check book details and explore alternative editions through SOLO.
    • Access Digitised Content: Some lists include digitized chapters or articles from Bodleian Libraries, accessible through ‘View Online’ buttons.

For more information see the Bodleian Libraries page on Reading Lists.

Booking Rooms at the RSL

At the Radcliffe Science Library, we have five group study rooms and a seminar room available for any reader to book for academic purposes.

We recently launched a new room booking tool to book any of our group study rooms. We are using this tool as part of a pilot along with our colleagues in the Social Science Library and the Vere Harmsworth Library. The aim is to make booking rooms as quick and easy as possible.

To book any of our group study rooms using the new room booking tool, use the search options on the page to check availability and place a booking for your chosen times. Use the Search by Space tab to select a room and browse for available times.

When booking a room please use your Oxford email (email ending If you don’t have have an Oxford email address, please email with details of your requested booking, including the date, start time, finish time and the number of attendees.

Screenshot of Room Booking Tool with the 'search by space' option selected.

Other spaces in Bodleian Libraries

Even though we think the RSL is great there are many other great libraries in Oxford. The Bodleian Libraries website has a page on all the group study rooms available across Bodleian Libraries. It includes seating capacity and information on how to book. Hopefully, that will make finding a space to work with your group easier.

Book an appointment with your subject/outreach librarian

Do you have questions about referencing? Not sure where to find key information for your essays or researchers? Perhaps you need help with a specific database? Then you should make an appointment with your subject or outreach librarian. They can talk with you in person, over Teams, over the phones or by email.

Four cartoons together. Top left image shows two cartoon figures reching out of computer screens to shake hands. Bottom left image shows two cartoon figures sitting next to each other in different colored chairs. Middle image shows a cartoon figure talking on an oversized mobile phone. The rightmost image shows a cartoon figure typing on a laptop sitting on a large orange @ sign

You can contact our librarians in whatever way you are comfortable.

Along with helping with your literature search and constructing search queries subject and outreach librarians can…

  • Provide group or 1 to 1 information skills training
  • Discuss Open Access issues with you and help you find the relevant inform ation for you
  • Teach you how to access and manage research data
  • Purchase book recommendations and are particularly interested in purchasing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion titles to improve our collections
  • Provide inductions for new staff
  • Can advise and and train you on reference management software and how to use different styles
  • Teach you how to navigate subject specific databases
  • And so much more…

Continue reading

Room Booking Tool

As part of the RSL reopening we have launched the use of a new room booking tool in the Radcliffe Science Library (RSL). We are using this tool as part of a pilot along with our colleagues in the Social Science Library and the Vere Harmsworth Library. The aim is to make booking rooms as quick and easy as possible.

Photograph two students having an interactive video call. The screen shows a man smiling and talking.

photo (c) John Cairns

We recently made a blog post about our 5 group study rooms, including two Teams enabled rooms. Ccheck it out if you want to learn more about our spaces. You can book any of our group study rooms by using our new room booking tool. You can use the search options on this page to check availability and place a booking for your chosen times. Use the Search by Space tab to select a room and browse for available times.

We want your feedback!

Now that you have had a chance to book a room we’d like to hear your feedback. We want to know what you think of our new room booking tool. We have put a poster in each of our group study rooms. Use a sticker to let us know how you feel about our booking tool. The tool should be accessible by screen reader but let us know if you are having any problems using it.

Photograph of feedback poster with three columns. One with a happy face, one a neutral face and one an unhappy face. The happy face column has four stickers under it.

We already have some positive feedback 🙂

You can also give us feedback by replying here, letting staff know at the desk, or emailing

Other spaces in Bodleian Libraries

Even though we think the RSL is great there are many other great libraries in Oxford. The Bodleian Libraries website has a page on all the group study rooms availalbe across Bodleian Libraries. It includes seating capacity and information on how to book. Hopefully, that will make finding a space to work with your group easier.

Reference Managers

Whether it’s writing essays, gathering research or doing a literature review reference managers can be a huge help in organising your references. They can help you collect information about everything you have read and allow you to easily add citations and bibliographies to your documents.

There is a large variety of Reference Managers available on the market. Some gather references and allow you to make bibliographies. Others allow you to do all this and can also insert correctly formatted citations into a word processor. Full details are available on our reference management guide.

Choosing a reference Manager

Choosing the correct reference manager for you can be challenging. Check out our guide on Choosing a Reference Manager to compare major tools and see which is best for you. There are also some reference managers that are freely available to members of the Universirty.


Oxford has the institutional subscription to RefWorks. Create a free account with your University email. Check out our resource of the month post for more information on RefWorks. RefWorks Citation Manager, for Microsoft Word 2016 and later, is compatible with the cloud-based Microsoft Word 365. This can added formatted citations into your word document from your RefWorks library.


EndNote can be used as a desktop or web-based application. The desktop version of EndNote has more features and is free for University of Oxford members to use while they are members of the institution. EndNote is available for free download from the IT Services shop website. The word processor plugin Cite While You Write is added to Microsoft Word automatically upon installation of the EndNote desktop software, so you can add references directly from your library to your document.


Zotero is a freely available desktop-based reference manager and can be used on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. It is freely downloadable from the Zotero website. The word processor plugin enables you to cite references from your Zotero library into your word processed document.

Latex and Bibtex

LaTeX is a freely available typesetting system that allows you to produce professional looking publications. Many people find that LaTeX is particularly useful for working with long documents or for documents that contain mathematical formulae or equations. It is a popular system for those preparing scientific and technical documents. You can create documents with LaTeX using any one of large number of different LaTeX editors, or even by just using a plain text editor like Windows Notepad.

BibTeX is a program that works with LaTeX to allow you to include in-text citations and a bibliography in your document. Many reference managers offer some level of support for working with LaTeX and BibTeX. You can find out more on the Latex page of our guide and


Along with the details information on our guide there are also training sessions on Reference Managers every term. Why not sign up for one of these sessions:


iSkills: Endnote – Tue 14 Nov – 10.00-12.00

iSkills: Zotero – Thu 16 Nov – 10.30-11.30

In person

iSkills Zotero – Wed 8 Nov – 13.30-16.30
Thames Suite, IT Services
7-19 Banbury Road, Oxon, OX2 6NN