University LibraryLondon

Learning support

Digital Technologies

Angie Applegate

Photo of  Angie Applegate

Academic and Learning Resources Librarian

Image by Christiaan Colen ’Binary Code’, under CC BY-SA 2.0 license:


This guide aims to provide you with information about the Library’s resources and services relevant to Digital Technologies.

Use the tabs above to find information about:

  • print and electronic books (ebooks)
  • journals and journal articles
  • databases and websites
  • advanced searching tips
  • referencing

Before you start remember to download the VPN from IT Services to gain seamless off-campus access to ebooks, ejournals, databases, email and print credits etc.

If this guide does not provide you with the information that you need then please contact your Librarian, Angie Applegate:


The library stocks books in both print and electronic format, which you can find on the catalogue.

Printed books on the same subject are given the same shelfmark number, which is located on the spine of each book. The shelfmark number consists of numbers and letters. For example Critical reading and writing for postgraduates has the shelfmark 378.170281.  The ‘WAL’ stands for Wallace (the author).  Books with several editions should be located together.‌


 Useful shelfmarks for Digital Technologies: 

004.019 Human computer interaction 
004.6 Computer networks 
004.6782 Cloud computing
005.74  Big data
005.8 Cyber security
006.3 Artificial intelligence 
006.312 Data mining
006.7 Multimedia applications
006.754 Social media applications
006.76  Systems architecture 
621.384  Wireless networking 
620.0042028  MATLAB 
652.8 Applied cryptography
658.872 Digital marketing



You can also find the Library's electronic books (ebooks) on the catalogue. They will have a link to Get full text.

If you only want to search for ebooks on the catalogue then refine your search by selecting 'Ebook' located on the left hand side of the catalogue, under Format.  

Electronic books or ebooks can be viewed on any computer whether you are in the Library or working from home off campus.  You may be required to log in with your Athens username and password. More information about passwords can be found on our website.

Finding Journals & Journal Articles

Academic journals are simply academic magazines which are sometimes referred to as periodicals or serials.  Journals are written by and for experts in their chosen field. Journal articles help scholars and researchers to share their research with the academic community and are published on a regular basis, for example monthly or quarterly.  Only articles which have been reviewed by other experts or peers (peer reviewed) make it into good academic journals, unlike articles published in popular magazines or newspapers.

The library stocks some print magazines, but most journals are available online as electronic journals.

 Why use journals:

  • They provide useful information, research and discussions
  • Give different viewpoints from several authors
  • Information is current as journals are published quicker than books
  • They show the latest research on new or emerging subject areas


Key databases to find journal articles

You can find ejournal articles by searching the Library Catalogue Plus. Subject databases also allow you to search several (sometimes hundreds) of ejournals simultaneously for articles or conference papers. Some useful ones for Digital Technology include:

Tip: Some of the abstract only databases will provide SFX links . When you see the SFX symbol  click on it and then select the   icon to access the full text where available.

E-journals can be viewed on any computer whether you are in the Library or working from home off campus.  Just remember to download the VPN for off campus access. 

Key databases

ACM digital library (full text)

Engineering Village (full text available for many articles)

IEEE Xplore (full text)

Science Direct (full text)

Scopus (abstracts with some full text available)

Web of Science (full text available for many articles) 

Statista - Database of global statistics, trend forecasts and business insights


Athens username and password may be required. Some databases may require login to the VPN from off campus. 


Lecture Notes in Computer Science

Lecture Notes in Computer Science are a series from Springer covering research and development from all areas of this discipline including, robotics, artificial intelligence, computer communication networks, software engineering, data encryption and database management.  Full access is available from 1973 to 2017.  Click on this link to access Springer then search for 'Computer science lecture notes'.  You may need to log in using your Athens username and password.   

Free text, keyword, or ‘natural language’ searching is the strategy used for searching the web and one of the options when searching any database.
The standard keyword search on most databases finds results if the words you are searching for are present in the:
  • article title
  • abstract
  • keywords
You will find an article if you use the same words used by the author(s).
One of the problems with this type of searching is the ambiguity of ‘natural language’. You will need to ensure when you are searching using free text/keywords that you include synonyms, homonyms and variant forms of the same word or phrase – spelling (US and UK English), plural v. singular, abbreviations, etc. 


Insert the truncation symbol * after the stem of a word to capture all the variations (including plurals). For example:

  • engine* - will search for: engine, engines, engineer, engineers, engineering, engineered...
  • technolog* - will search for: technology, technologies, technological, technologically, technologist, technologists
Phrase searching
Put words in inverted commas/quotation marks to make sure you search for those words together in that order. For example:
  • "artificial intelligence"
  • "virtual reality"
  • "technological innovation"
Combining word with Boolean operators

Boolean operators form the basis of mathematical sets and database logic. They connect your search words together to either narrow or broaden your set of results. The three basic boolean operators are: ANDOR, and NOT.

Why use Boolean operators?

  • To focus a search, particularly when your topic contains multiple search terms.
  • To connect various pieces of information to find exactly what you're looking for.


AND is used to combine together different concepts and to retrieve results where all the concepts are present. AND narrows down your results and makes your search more specific. AND is sometimes automatic for two or more search terms depending on the database. For example: applications AND Android

OR is used to connect two or more similar concepts (synonyms). OR broadens your results, telling the database that ANY of your search terms can be present in the results. For example: "virtual reality" OR "augmented reality"

Use NOT in a search to exclude words from your search and to narrow your search, telling the database to ignore irrelevant concepts. For example: social media NOT Facebook. 

You may need to be careful using NOT as you can remove results which may still be relevant.



Remember: you must write  ANDOR, and NOT in capitals for them to work in Library databases.

Referencing & Citation

When you refer to another person’s work in your own essay, report or presentation etc, you will need to reference that work to avoid plagiarising it.  This allows the person reading your work to differentiate between your ideas and those of another person.  You can reference the work in two ways:

  • Citation, also called an in-text citation.  This accompanies the quote, extract, paraphrasing or illustration that you have used and provides the name of the author/creator, date and page numbers if relevant. For example:

‘Recent research (Baker and Gale, 2015, pp. 201-203) challenges previous theories…..’

  •  Bibliography, provides the details of all the sources which you have consulted during your research.  If you are referencing a printed book you will need to include the following details: author/editor; publication year; title; edition if not the first; place of publication; series and volume number where relevant. For example:

Baker, G.H., and Gale, F. (2015) Cloud computing. 2nd edn. London: Routledge.

An excellent guide to referencing which mainly includes Harvard examples is called ‘Cite them Right: the essential referencing guide’. It gives you examples of how to reference various resources such as:

  • web pages with no authors or titles, etc
  • ebooks
  • blogs
  • wikis
  • social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter
  • computer games or programs
  • legal cases
  • packaging
  • podcasts, phonecasts, screencasts or vodcasts/vidcasts.

Reference management software

Reference management software can help you to keep track of all the references you have used in your reports, essays or final project. The library provides guidance on Mendeley.

There are other types of reference management tools available such as ColWiz and Zotero.  To help you choose which one is the best for you see the Bodleian Libraries’ comparison tool.