New services – Browse and Borrow + Spacefinder

Browse and Borrow

From Tuesday 27 October 2020, the Browse and Borrow (B&B) service is available at the Vere Harmsworth Library. Browse and Borrow allows readers to book a slot to browse the open shelves and borrow material for consultation outside the library.

Browse and Borrow sessions are available as follows in term-time:
Monday to Friday:

  • Mornings: 10.00am-12.30pm
  • Afternoons: 2.00pm-4.30pm
  • Evenings: 6.00pm-8.30pm


  • 10.30am-12.00pm
  • 1.30pm-3.30pm


  • 11.30am-1.00pm
  • 2.30pm-4.30pm

Browse and Borrow bookings at the VHL are limited to 15 readers per session.

If you need to consult material in depth in the library, please book a desk or PC instead.


Demand for spaces in libraries is very high and slots become fully booked very quickly.

To assist readers in finding and booking available spaces, a new Spacefinder tool has been launched.

New slots are released 7 days in advance between 7:30-9:30 each morning, and additional slots are released each day due to cancellations and same day booking can be made before 8am.

How to contact us for help

Radcliffe Science Library staff can be contacted any time for help using library services:

+44 1865 272800

You can also contact your Subject Librarian directly.

For help with SOLO, you can use the Live Chat service from the SOLO home screen. Live Chat is staffed by library staff from across the Bodleian Libraries, and is available 9am-7pm Monday to Friday and 10am-7pm at weekends.

Socially-distanced library services in Michaelmas term 2020

Using library spaces

At the moment, you will need to book a space in advance to visit one of the Bodleian Libraries – see for details.

Bookings can be made up to a week in advance and will close at 8am the day of your chosen time slot.

Check library opening times before booking –


Usual borrowing procedures are suspended across the Bodleian Libraries due to restrictions on access to library sites. Borrowing is possible via the Click and Collect service – see for details. Borrowers are able to place requests on SOLO for loanable items, which are then fetched by staff and can be collected in a pre-arranged time slot.

Getting scans of chapters and articles

Readers can request scans of journal articles and book chapters on SOLO via Scan and Deliver – details are at There are two services on offer:

  • OffsiteScan from items in off-site storage is available to all Bodleian Libraries readers
  • LibraryScan from items in reading rooms is available to current members of the University with a SSO (there is a limit of one request per reader per day)

These services are free of charge.

Welcome to all new and returning students!

A warm welcome from the Bodleian’s Science and Medicine team!

The RSL is Oxford’s main library for science subjects and pre-clinical medicine, and we look forward to seeing you soon.

The RSL’s usual home is currently closed for refurbishment until late 2021. Bodleian Libraries science library services are currently operating from a temporary base in the Vere Harmsworth Library in the Rothermere American Institute.

Due to the pandemic, the library is currently open only to readers who have booked in advance – this must be done online at

Books can be borrowed from the RSL via the Click and Collect service.

Scans of articles and book chapters are available via Scan and Deliver.

Please don’t hesitate to ask library staff for help. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

You can also contact me directly via email at

Donald M Mackay, Head of MSD & MPLS Libraries

Vere Harmsworth Library and Radcliffe Science Library @ VHL reopen on Monday 28 September

The Vere Harmsworth Library, the temporary home of the Radcliffe Science Library, will reopen to readers on Monday 28 September.

Opening hours:

  • From Monday 28 September: 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday only
  • From Sunday 11 October:
    • 9.30am to 9pm Monday to Friday
    • 10am to 4pm Saturday
    • 11am to 5pm Sunday

Admission is by advance booking only and this must be done online – book at

There are 40 seats available for booking and 4 library PCs. Readers are required to wear masks and use hand sanitiser – full details of safety precautions will be included in your booking confirmation email.

Deliveries of materials held offsite will recommence on Wednesday 7 October, with ordering via SOLO enabled the day before. Please note – if you order items which can only be used in the library, you will need to book a space to consult it as well.

You can also use the Click and Collect service via SOLO to borrow VHL and RSL books. Details of this service are at Items can be collected at a pre-arranged time between 12pm and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have any issues accessing the library, please contact

These arrangements are subject to change at short notice. Any updates will be posted on the RSL website and Twitter feed.

New online titles

Since Bodleian Libraries sites closed in March, library staff have been busy expanding significantly our collections of ebooks – purchasing as many as we can of the books on MPLS and MSD reading lists and other books that are heavily borrowed by students.

These include hundreds of individual new online books as well as significant collections of online textbooks including the OUP Chemistry Primers, Elsevier ClinicalKey Student, LWW Healthcare, and the Cambridge University Press STM Collection (which just in itself brings us 8,500 new online textbooks in MSD and MPLS subject areas).

We have also acquired access to two collections of online journals from SAGE, which are now available via SOLO:

Royal Society of Medicine Press:

Institution of Mechanical Engineers:

Online access to resources from HathiTrust

Update: HathiTrust access ends on 30 September

Emergency online access to materials provided by HathiTrust while Bodleian Libraries sites were closed will end on 30 September 2020. Records on SOLO have been updated to advise readers of this. After access ends, books that have been available through HathiTrust will be available for borrowing again if they are loanable copies.

The Bodleian Libraries currently has Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) from HathiTrust, which provides access to 1.5 million in-copyright items and millions more public domain items available directly from the HathiTrust website and via clear links provided on relevant records in SOLO. The HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaboration of academic and research libraries across the world and a major digital repository.

Through this arrangement, University members are able to access full text digital copies of books which exist in physical form in the libraries but cannot currently be accessed. Readers can download, in full, whole volumes of public domain books and readers with print disabilities will be able to request full book downloads on copyrighted items via ARACU.

University card holders can log in to the HathiTrust website by following the yellow login button at top right and entering Oxford into the box. Select University of Oxford to be redirected to the SSO login screen. You will need to click on the “Check Out” button on the orange bar at the top of the page for full access to specific items.

Update on Bodleian Libraries services

Scan and Deliver

Scan and Deliver has been relaunched at selected Bodleian Libraries sites. The service allows University cardholders to request, for free, scans of book chapters or journal articles from the Bodleian Libraries print collection.

Two scanning services are on offer:

  • OffsiteScan: from off-site storage ordered through the usual SOLO ( process
    • Available to all card holders
  • LibraryScan: from reading rooms: ordered through a new SOLO option
    • Available to current members of the University with a SSO

Full up-to-date details of the service can be found at

Reopening reading rooms

Beginning on 10 August, the Bodleian Libraries will begin to open selected sites to readers. We hope to have opened the remainder of our reading rooms by the start of Michaelmas Term.

Once open, the reading rooms will provide readers with access to non-print legal deposit collections at library PCs as well as full text print materials. Readers will be required to book a study space or PC using an online booking tool, information for which can be found at

Click and Collect

Click and Collect is now available to allow readers to access to the Bodleian Libraries lending collections while usual borrowing procedures are suspended. Requests can be placed on SOLO for items and readers will be emailed to instructions on how to select a date and time to collect the items.

The safety of staff and students is paramount in the design of the service and limitations apply on which libraries are able to participate and when. More information on the collections which are available for Click & Collect, as well as the opening times of the libraries offering the service can be found at

Return of loans

If you have an item on loan from any of the Bodleian libraries, you can now return these items to several locations in Oxford – please see for details of when and where to bring them. If you have enquiries about returning your books, please contact

Please note that books from your college library must be returned directly to the college.

Postal returns

If readers are unable to return books to us in person, they can do so using the free Royal Mail Tracked service. Readers can follow guidance set out by Royal Mail at to return their packaged and labelled books to a Post Office. For readers who are unable to return the books to Oxford, or take them to a Post Office, they should email to receive further instructions.

New Nature titles online

Members of the University now have online access to two more Nature journals. Both Nature Biomedical Engineering and Nature Catalysis can be access via SOLO at the following links, and via Browzine (

Nature Biomedical EngineeringNature Catalysis

Bodleian iSkills workshops – Summer 2020

Bodleian iSkills logo

The Bodleian iSkills workshops have now moved online as a combination of webinars and recorded video. All these workshops are free. Full details can be found at

Sessions available:

Bodleian iSkills: Finding information for your research for MPLS researchers
An opportunity to improve and extend your literature research skills. This online session will help you with in-depth searching particularly when preparing literature reviews for theses, dissertations, and research papers.
Intended Audience:  Undergraduates in their final year, postgraduate students, researchers and academics in MPLS.

Dates offered:

  • Thursday 23 July, 10-10.30am – Biology and Earth Sciences
  • Thursday 23 July, 11-11.30am – Engineering and Computer Science
  • Friday 24 July, 9-9.30am – Chemistry and Materials
  • Friday 24 July, 10-10.30am – Mathematics and Physics

Bodleian iSkills for the Medical Sciences Division and OUH staff: Introduction to Mendeley
Do you need help managing your references? Do you need help citing references in your documents? This online session will introduce you to Mendeley ( – a free programme which can help you to store, organise and retrieve your references and PDFs; as well as cite references in documents and create bibliographies quickly and easily.
Intended Audience: Postgraduate students, researchers and university and OUH staff based on the Old Road Campus or in Medical Sciences Division departments elsewhere in Headington.

Dates offered:

  • Tuesday 14 July, 10-11.30am
  • Thursday 16 July, 2.30-4pm
  • Friday 17 July, 10-11.30am
  • Tuesday 21 July, 10-11.30am
  • Thursday 23 July, 2.30-4pm
  • Friday 24 July, 10-11.30am
  • Tuesday 28 July, 10-11.30am
  • Thursday 30 July, 2.30-4pm
  • Friday 31 July, 10-11.30am

The following videos are also available:

  • Getting started in Oxford libraries – NEW! Adapted from the iSkills workshop Getting started in Oxford libraries (temporarily entitled Using Oxford libraries remotely whilst we operate remotely), this set of videos introduce you to SOLO, the University’s resource discovery tool, from simple search functions to features such as citation tracing and saving and exporting SOLO records.
  • Scholarly literature for your research – a series of videos adapted from the iSkills workshop Finding Stuff: Scholarly Literature for your Research.  The videos cover how to use SOLO (the University’s resource discovery tool), search techniques including special characters, such as *, ?, AND, OR, NOT, creating an effective search query to submit to catalogues and databases so that you find results relevant to your research, and why using theses and conferences in your research are beneficial and how find them.
  • Keeping up to date with research – adapted from the iSkills workshop ‘Getting information to come to you’, this series of videos guides you through setting up alerts so that you automatically receive notification of new research in your area. The videos cover setting up alerts in SOLO, Web of Science, JournalTOCs and Zetoc, Nexis UK, JiscMail and others.
  • What is reference management software? – this is the introductory presentation from the iSkills workshop: ‘Referencing: choosing and using software’.  Bodleian iSkills will not be running any live workshops this term on reference management, but the video link will also take you to our homepage for ‘Managing your references’, with further links to information and guidance in using a variety of reference management software packages.