The Document Supply service can obtain a wide variety of material including books, journal articles, theses, conference proceedings and patents. Request forms are available electronically on the document supply web page (link below) or you can ask at the Library Desk. Inter-library loans usually take about 7 days to arrive although this can vary. If it is a loan item you will need to collect it from the Library Desk.
More information is on our document supply web page.
Visiting other libraries
You may wish to visit other university libraries:
Swansea University is a member of the SCONUL Access scheme. This allows academic staff, postgraduate research students, full-time postgraduates, part-time, distance learning or placement students to borrow from other Higher Education libraries across the UK who are members of the scheme. This guide explains how you can join the SCONUL Access scheme.
Patent information is a huge source of technological and commercial intelligence - about 80% of the information contained in patents is not found elsewhere in the literature. Knowing what has been patented helps to ensure that you don't duplicate research or find that you cannot do anything with research findings because they have been patented earlier by someone else.
A patent is a legal right granted to the applicant, upon fulfilment of certain conditions, which grants them the monopoly on making, using or selling an invention, for a fixed period of time, in the countries in which a patent has been granted. Only original inventions can be patented so the invention must never have been made public anywhere in the world before the date the application for a patent is filed. The invention has to be capable of industrial application and manufacture.
Patents are a useful source of technical knowledge as they give full details of an invention or process. Many patents are now freely available online but the document supply service can obtain print copies if you need to see one which is not online provided that you have sufficient information.
Esp@cenet is the patent database for the European Union but also contains some details from other countries such as the US and Japan. If you want to use it to search for UK patents only, enter GB in the publication number field.
Standards are technical documents containing precise specifications designed to ensure that materials, products and processes are made to a certain quality.
Many different bodies produce standards. They can be international or national bodies or organisations which deal with specific subjects.
Below are links to other major standard producing organisations. The university only subscribes to British Standards online but it is often possible to obtain other standards via Inter-Library loan or to ask your department to buy them if you have the details.
Conference literature is useful because:
Make sure that you have the most up to date version of a piece of research.
Conferences are a useful way of obtaining up to date information. However, if you plan to cite a paper in your thesis, it is worth checking first to see if the research has also been published as a journal article - this is likely to be fuller and will be peer reviewed. You can use databases such as Web of Science to check for articles by the same author and with a similar title to the conference paper.
Conference listing sites
Finding conference proceeding and papers
A technical report:
The Challenge of Report Literature
Finding Report Literature
The United States Department of Energy Information Bridge site provides documents and citations in physics, chemistry, materials, biology, environmental sciences, energy technologies, engineering, computer and information science, renewable energy, and other topics of interest related to energy.
NATO's Research and Technology Organisation has many full text reports. It is possible to do a keyword search. (We do not have a login password as this is solely for NATO staff so you can only access the publicly available titles). Many of these are in the areas of aerospace and communication but they also touch on a whole range of technical topics.
The Energy Technology Data Exchange is hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA). It includes details of reports on energy policy & planning, environmental impact of energy production, renewable energy and nuclear power. Some of the reports can be accessed online - you need to register to search.
Open Access comes from a growing desire to make scholarly information freely available.
EThOS has been created to offer a single point of access to UK theses and plays a significant role in showcasing UK research to the world. EThOS, which is hosted by the British Library, has more than 100 UK universities involved in the project and can offer an ever expanding range of titles as full text downloads.
Search the EThOS catalogue here.
If an item you require is already in EThOS then it is immediately available for download to your desktop free of charge; if not, then you can choose to purchase a scanned copy from EThOS.
Get more help and advice from the Research Support website. Here you can find lots a useful information including
The Library also provides extensive training for postgraduates.