Welcome to Leeds University Library. We want to support you during your research and this QuickStart guide gives you the essential information you need to know when starting your research journey.

We may need to make changes to our service due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please visit the Library website for the latest updates and information.

Our libraries

The Library has four main buildings on campus and one at St James’s University Hospital, with a dedicated space for research staff and postgraduate researchers on Level 13 of the Edward Boyle Library. Find out more about our Library buildings on our website.

The Research Hub

The Research Hub, on Level 13 of the Edward Boyle Library, provides IT rich silent study space, bookable group and individual study space, and meeting rooms for postgraduates and staff.

Our collections

The Library houses extensive print, online and manuscript collections, gathered during its 100 year history. The Library continues to develop its rich assets to ensure the depth and breadth of information is appropriate to the needs of a major research-intensive University.

Special Collections

The Library’s Special Collections & Galleries department holds over 200,000 rare books and thousands of archive collections and manuscripts, many of which are unique to Leeds. Material covers a vast range of subjects, and is often of outstanding national and international interest. Designated collections include English Literature, the Leeds Russian Archive, Liddle (First and Second World Wars), Cookery and the Gypsy Traveller and Roma collection. The department also manages the University art collection, the International Textile Collection, and the University’s own archive. Find out more, and search for material that might interest you, on our Special Collections website.

Finding and accessing e-resources

The Library provides online access to a vast amount of electronic resources such as databases, e-journals and e-books. You can use Library Search to find books, journals and other materials on your topic. Also, have a look at your subject page which will help you find out about the information sources available in your research discipline.

Accessing resources not available at the Library

You can use the document supply service to obtain books, journals, conference papers, reports and theses which are not available at the Library. Depending on the type of document you request, you will receive either a photocopy of the required pages or a loan of the whole work. You pay £10 for each item you order.

If you would like to suggest an item that you think the Library should purchase you can fill in our purchase suggestion form.


The Library’s Digitisation Service provide electronic copies of material held at Leeds. With a wide range of first-rate digitisation equipment, the Service are able to create high-quality reproductions of images, audio and text documents for publication and research purposes. Lower resolution copies can be produced on-demand to support your research needs. For more information about our copying services, see our webpages.

Literature searching

During your research you may be required to carry out comprehensive and systematic literature searches to identify key literature relating to a particular topic. Correct literature searching from the outset can save hours of work and help to improve the quality of your work. Detailed guidance on the literature searching process, including defining your research question, deciding where to search and developing your search strategy, is available in our Literature Searching Guide.

Lucid (charged-for based literature searching)

Lucid is a charged-for literature searching service for funded University of Leeds researchers. The Lucid team of information specialists has extensive experience in designing and executing literature searches for all types of evidence syntheses. All searches are peer reviewed and search activity is documented in accordance with publishing guidelines.

To find out more about how the Lucid team can support your research project, visit the Lucid webpages.

Literature searching training

The Library Research Support Advisors run literature searching workshops to help you with your research. We offer training sessions for postgraduate researchers and research staff. More information on the literature searching training we offer, and details of how to book, can be found on our website.

Managing your references using EndNote

During your research project you may need to store and manage a large amount of references. EndNote is a reference management tool which can help you do this. It also works with Microsoft Word to automatically insert citations and create your reference list and bibliographies for you. You can format your citations, reference lists and bibliographies using your preferred referencing style. For more help and support in using EndNote, visit our EndNote webpages.

EndNote training

The Library Research Support Advisors run EndNote webinars to help you with your research. More information on the EndNote webinars we offer, and details on how to book can be found on our website.

Increasing the visibility of your research

When you begin planning your research, it is important to think about how you are going to promote it and make it more accessible and visible. When starting your research you could consider creating profiles in research platforms such as ORCiD or use tools such as SciVal to identify topics and potential collaborators. During your research, you could present research results at conferences and use resources such as Scopus to help you decide where to publish. When you are submitting your piece of work you should make sure it has a clear and concise title and ensure you use a consistent author name and affiliation. Finally, after your research you could disseminate your outputs on social media and make your research data findable and citable in a repository.

For more help and support on increasing the visibility of our research visit our visibility pages

Open access

Open access publishing makes peer-reviewed scholarly works and other research outputs like pre prints and datasets available online, free for anyone to find and read. The potential readership of open access research is far greater than where the full-text is restricted.

Open access requirements

The REF policy for open access says that for a journal article or conference paper to be eligible for submission to future REF exercises, it must be deposited in an open access repository within 3 months of being accepted for publication. Find out more on our open access requirements webpages. Major research funders require that research outputs produced as part of their funded projects are made open access.

The University also has a publications policy which requires staff and students to add details of ALL newly accepted outputs to the University Publications database (Symplectic) within 3 months of acceptance, and to upload the full text wherever possible.

How are publications made open access?

There are two ways to make research outputs open access:

  • by self-archiving in an open access repository, known as green open access. The peer-review process of publishing a paper with a subscription journal remains the same, but a version of the paper is available through a green open access route. The University of Leeds has an open access repository called White Rose Research Online (WRRO) which is shared with the Universities of Sheffield and York.
  • by publishing in an open access journal, or with an open access monograph publisher, known as gold open access. You, your funder, or the University, usually pays for gold open access through article processing charges (APCs). Find out more about the funding available for APCs on our web pages

To find out more about how you can make your research open access, visit our Open Access webpages.

Making your thesis Open Access

The University requires you to deposit an electronic version of your PhD thesis in White Rose eTheses Online (WREO), the open access eThesis repository for the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, Find out more about eTheses and how to upload your thesis to WREO on the E-theses webpages.

Research Data Management

Research data can take many forms; it is an important output, instrumental to your work and impact as a researcher. Research data management involves thinking about what will happen to your data during and after your research project. The University and many research funders expect data to be managed effectively and shared where possible. The Library-based Research Data Leeds team can help you create a data management plan and think about when, where and whether your data can be shared.

Write a data management plan

All research projects should have a data management plan; some research funders require you to submit one as part of your grant application. A plan helps ensure appropriate resources are in place to manage your data, including equipment, storage and staffing. You should consider short-term and long-term (post project) data management, and review and update your plan as a routine part of project management.

Information about data management plans is available on the research data website. Contact us for help and advice, including comments on draft data management plans.

Deposit and share data

Research Data Leeds is a research data repository, supported by the University and based in the Library. You can deposit data with this service, or with any other appropriate, trusted repository service. Most of the data in the Research Data Leeds repository is freely available for everyone to use. Where required, access to data can be embargoed or restricted.

Depositing with Research Data Leeds is straightforward. Library staff will work with you to prepare a description of your data (metadata) and provide you with a digital object identifier (DOI) so your data can be easily identified and cited.

Training and support

Research Data Leeds staff run training sessions on research data management. More information, including how to book and request local sessions and details of recommended external training resources, can be found on our website.

Further support

The Library Research Support Team provide information, support and resources on:

  • Open Access publishing and funding
  • Supporting REF open access requirements
  • Research data management
  • EndNote
  • University Publications Database (Symplectic)
    and White Rose Research Online
  • Referencing
  • Literature searching
  • Bibliometrics
  • Paid-for services (Lucid)
  • Digital publishing

You can find more information, support and resources on our website. You can email the Team on research@library.leeds.ac.uk or call us on 0113 343 0583.


The Library Research Support Team run workshops on literature searching, increasing the visibility of research, open access and research data management.

For more information on our workshops visit our website.