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.

Please visit the Library website for the latest updates and information.

Use the button to learn how to use this guide.

Our libraries

There are five Libraries at the University of Leeds:

  • Brotherton Library
  • Edward Boyle Library
  • Health Sciences Library
  • Laidlaw Library
  • St James’s University Hospital Library

There is 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 the Library 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 library resources

The Library provides access to a vast amount of physical and digital resources such as databases, journals and books.

Use Library Search to find books, journals and other materials on your topic, and to access full texts online with your University of Leeds login.

Your subject page will help you find out about the information sources available in your research discipline.

You can borrow up to 50 items. Items automatically renew, unless another user requests them.

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.

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

There are two schemes you can use so you can visit other libraries:​

  • SCONUL Access
  • White Rose Reciprocal Access Scheme for Sheffield and York universities

Remember that you can use other public or national libraries, as well as university libraries. Find more information on the Library website.


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.

Literature searching service

The Library's Research Support Team provides a free literature searching service to support research activity explicitly aligned with the University's strategic priorities.

Our team of information specialists can support research groups undertaking interdisciplinary solution or discovery-based research focusing on current societal challenges, for example research linked to the UN Sustainability Development Goals. Examples of research areas we can support include Climate Change, Anti-Microbial Resistance, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Design and Technology Innovation, as well as research linked to rethinking social and economic models. We also support strategic research planning activities aimed at identifying future research priorities. Please email us to discuss your needs.

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.

Publishing and promoting your research

Where you publish and how you promote your research are important decisions you need to make when planning for disseminating your research. Start thinking about research visibility at the beginning and consider creating an ORCiD. During your research project explore potential sources to publish in and after you have completed your project, look at ways to disseminate your research output in different research platforms. Putting time and effort into promoting your research is likely to contribute to increasing its impact.

For more information visit the Where to Publish webpages and the Increase Research Visibility webpages.

Research metrics: Bibliometrics

Analysing research publication data can give you some insight into what impact research outputs have had and help you to discover new research and potential collaborators. This analysis is called bibliometrics and we can support you to use our research databases. You could use bibliometrics to:

  • analyse your research outputs
  • provide evidence of the impact of your research
  • find new and emerging areas of research
  • identify potential research collaborators
  • identify suitable sources in which to publish.

For more information on bibliometrics, sources of bibliometric data and the different types of bibliometric measures, visit our bibliometric pages.

Responsible research metrics

Responsible research metrics is the appropriate and responsible use of quantitative indicators in the assessment of research performance. The University is committed to responsible research metrics and has signed the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognises the need to improve the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated. University of Leeds statement in support of responsible research metrics in the assessment of research is available on the Research and Innovation Service website.

For more information on using metrics responsibly visit our research metrics webpages.

Open Research

Open research increases the transparency, collaboration, efficiency, and reproducibility of research by providing full access to the major components of research. Open research practices are increasingly recognised by research funding organisations to ensure that research results can be reproduced and have the widest possible benefit and impact.

Five key aspects of open research are: Open Access, Open Data, Open platforms, tools and services, An open approach to conducting research, Transparency and public engagement.

For more information on open research, including the benefits of practising open research, visit our open research 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.

There are personal and professional benefits to making your research open access, but there are also some important policies that require it. Major research funders like UKRI require that research outputs produced as part of their funded projects are made open access as soon as they are published. Find out more about the REF policy, the institutional publication policy and the requirements around depositing PhD theses.

Open and FAIR Data

Open data can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose. It is made available under an open license like Creative Commons. One of the challenges of making data openly available is to make it easily discoverable by others, so that it can be accessed, analysed and integrated into research, tasks and projects. FAIR data principles act as guidelines to enhance the reusability of your data.

FAIR stands for: findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. To be fully open, data must also be FAIR. However, data can be FAIR without being open: restricted-access data could be FAIR if the descriptive metadata is openly accessible. For more information on FAIR data principles, visit our open and fair data pages.

Research Data Management

You will generate and use much material during your research. Good data management will make it easier for you to find and understand your materials over a long period of time and reduce the risk of data loss. Research data management covers the generation, organisation, storage, sharing and preservation of materials used or created during your research.

Research materials differ depending on your field of research but good data management is relevant and helpful in all research fields. Research funders – and the University - expect data to be managed effectively and shared where possible and appropriate.

The Research Data Leeds service in the Library can help you with advice and support.

Write a data management plan

A data management plan helps you to structure your approach to data and to record important information and decisions as you go along. All research projects at University of Leeds should have a regularly updated data management plan.

Some research funders require a data management plan as part of your grant application to ensure appropriate resources are in place to manage your data, including equipment, storage and staffing.

A data management plan template is available from the Library but you can structure your plan in a way that is most useful to your project. Further information about data management plans is available on the Library website.

Further information about data management plans is available on the Library website.

Share data

Sharing data can increase your impact as a researcher and contribute to research transparency and reproducibility. You may also be meeting your funder’s or a journal’s data sharing expectations.

The Library can advise on data deposit in online data services, such as the Research Data Leeds repository hosted in the Library.

Not all data is suitable for sharing – for example, if you are handling sensitive data. Consider ethical and legal aspects of data in your data management plan and cover data sharing in any ethics applications.

The Library has useful information on safe handling of sensitive data.

Training and support

Research Data Leeds staff run training sessions on basic research data management and handling sensitive data. More information can be found on our workshop pages.

You can contact the team about any aspect of data management at researchdataenquiries@leeds.ac.uk

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.