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Digital Fluency

Digital fluency combines IT proficiency with the confident and effective use of appropriate digital tools and technologies, to find and use digital content and produce and share creative outputs. This section describes some of the resources and support available to help you improve your digital fluency.

Digital research

The Library subscribes to many specialist databases and online search tools for you to use in your studies. The “All Databases” page lists all the databases and online resources to which the Library subscribes as well as selected free academic online collections and websites

You will find a link to the web page listing all databases below and further resources and guidance for developing your research skills can be found via the Academic Research Kit (ARK) online interactive tutorials. 

You may also find useful information by using search engines such as Google Scholar. Use this guide to search effectively.

Once you have used the digital search tools and databases to find information in your subject area you may find it helpful to use a software tool to manage your results. Referencing software enables you to create a personal database of references which can then be automatically formatted for use in a bibliography. Mendeley is the referencing software that Loughborough University recommends and supports.

 Using digital media ethically

As well as managing your search results you may want to make use of digital resources in your work.  Photographs, images, audio, music and videos on the internet have the same copyright protection as physical copies of photos purchased CDs or a film shown at a cinema. Copying, reusing or distributing this material will infringe copyright unless the copyright owner has given you their express permission. Getting in contact with the copyright owner is not always easy so a few websites have developed licences which allow others to reuse digital media under certain terms and conditions. The University’s copyright guidance pages provide lists of online free resources for images and photos, audio, music and video. Just follow the links below.

Copyright guidance on reusing digital media

Don't forget if you do use any images, video or audio please remember to attribute the work unless specified otherwise.  In each instance always check the terms and conditions of use.

Apps and software

As you develop your digital fluency skills you will become more confident in using a wide variety of apps and software packages. The guide below lists a selection of apps to assist your learning. The apps listed are free and almost all of them are available for Apple and Android devices. As a student at Loughborough University there are several ways you can get access to software packages both in labs and available to download for your own device. Find out more on the IT Services web pages via the link below.

Further help

If you need further help discovering or selecting suitable databases or search tools for your subject area please contact your Academic Librarian

For online video tutorials helping you to develop your digital fluency skills or learn a software package why not try LinkedIn Learning. Formerly known as this online learning platform offers over 5000 videos on creative, software, technology and business skills.

For technical problems installing software you can visit the PC Clinic team in the Library or contact IT Services via