Databases and e-resources with free access

The Library subscribes to a lot of databases and e-resource packages. To be able to use them you have to be a student or staff at the university. To complement the subscribed resources, we have also resources that does not require subscriptions in the database lists. These free resources can be of value for you after your studies at the university.

The free databases are linked on the webpage Databases – see Free databases a bit down on the page.

Here are some examples of databases that does not require subsciptions to be used.

Library catalouges

  • Primo, our own discovery system open for search, including some free material in full text
  • Libris, the national union library system for Sweden


  • Diva (University of Borås) is a digital archive for research publications and student theses published by the University of Borås
  • SwePub makes it possible to search among articles, conference papers, dissertations etc. published at Swedish universities and authorities
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals

Reference databases

  • ERIC Database contains references to articles, books, reports, dissertations, conferences and more from the field of education
  • PubMed contains references to articles, reports, dissertations and more from general practice, clinical medicine, nursing care and health care


  • links to legal information from the government, parliament, higher courts and public authorities
  • EUR-Lex gives access to the official journal, treaties, legislation, preparatory legal documents, legal usage, questions from the members of parliament and more

More free databases

There are many more useful databases in the list. Take a look in the “List of free databases” and see if you find someone that you think is valuable to you.

Text and image: Klaz Arvidson

Things to consider when reading a scientific text

To sit down and read a text may seem like a simple thing to do, but there is a difference between texts and texts – here are some tips on how to think when you’re reading a scientific text. 

Scientific texts have often the following structure IMR(A)D: Introduction, Method, Results (Analysis) and Discussion. But first in all scientific articles is the abstract. The abstract is a summary with the purpose to give you a quick indication on whether the article is of interest to you or not. It should contain some type of purpose for the study, how the study was done, what results were found and what conclusions could be drawn.

  • Then, the introduction follows, with two purposes: To create interest as well as to put the study into a general context by presenting previous research.
  • The method section describes which methods have been used to answer the questions. This section is important to read carefully so that you can determine the validity, that is how reasonable and correct the conclusions are.
  • Results present what the research data shows and it can be visualised with figures and tables.
  • In the ending discussion section the current study is related back to previous research and the current results are put in context. In the discussion, you should also find the conclusions made from the study.

When reading a text try to find the main points in the text. Perhaps you can also find what is surprising, unexpected or different from previous research or if there is something that is rarely focused on other research.

When you read a scientific text, you can consider and answer the following questions:

  • What is the problem that this text is trying to answer? Why is this question important to answer?
  • Is the used method the best to answer the questions or is there a better method?
  • What are the specific results? Can I summarize them in a couple of sentences?
  • Are the results supported by the research data?
  • Are there other ways to interpret the research data which the authors didn’t address?
  • In which way are the results unique/new/unusual/ or supporting compared to other related research in the area?
  • How can the results be related to what I am interested in? To other texts I’ve read?
  • Are there some specific applications presented in the text? Which future experiments could be done? Are there unanswered questions or are the results open for new questions?

You can also draw inferences, like in this example:

“Rett Syndrome is a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder and one of the most common causes of mental retardation in females with an incidence of 1 in 10000-15000.”[1]

Comment: Hmmm…can it be related to a gene on the X-chromosome since its one of the most common causes in females… How common is that?

You should also take notes while reading. The best case scenario is that you take notes electronically, because you probably will find a specific note much easier later on. One way to do this is to create a template that you fill in for each text you are reading. Then your reading will be systematically documented and it may also help you in reading. The Library has also created a Google Drive document that you can download and use. You can download the template in a couple of different formats (Choose File and the Download as…).

Text: Pieta Eklund & Katharina Nordling
Photo: Mostphotos

[1] Ballestar, E., Yusufzai, T.M., & Wolffe, A.P. (2000) Effects of Rett Syndrome Mutations of the Methyl-CpG Binding Domain of the Transcriptional Repressor MeCP2
on Selectivity for Association with Methylated DNA. Biochemistry, 31, 7100-7106

Recorded Literature

What is recorded literature and how can you access it?

If you are a student at the University of Borås and have a reading disability, you have the right to talking books produced by MTM ( Agancy for Available Media).

What does reading disability means, you might wonder? Reading disability means that you have difficulty reading printed text. Read-write disability includes for example, reading and writing difficulties, visual impairment, hearing loss, autism, ADHD and temporary reading impairment.

If you have your native language is other than Swedish, and  you have a reading disability in your own language you can borrow talking books in Swedish or other languages. However, it should be considered that not having Swedish as a native language is not a reading disability.

The state is responsible for the production of talking books according to § 17 of the copyright law, but it is the libraries that are loan intermediaries to people with a reading disability. This means that you as a student can contact us at the University Library if you believe that you are in need of talking books according to criteria mentioned above.

Here at the University of Borås, we have two librarians who work with Legimus and recorded literature. Karin Ekström and Lena Svenson. Contact them for a meeting by phone or email.

To find the titles that have been recorded, search the Legimus database. If the course book you are looking for is not available as recorded book, it needs to be ordered via us at the library for new production. you need to contact the library in good time, because it can take 6-12 weeks to get a book recorded.

Read more about recorded literature on our web.

Text: Karin Ekström, Tandis Talay
Picture: Mostphotos

Hello Karin Ekström!

In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers – who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Karin a few questions.

What are your main duties?

I work at the Department Collection Services and purchase material in the Library and Information Science area, Informatics and fiction. I also work with interlibrary loans, some cataloging, book mending and I meet students who, for various reasons, are in need of recorded literature. Of course, I also have scheduled time at the information desk. I am very pleased with what I do and find it a challenge to help students and researchers with what ever it is the are asking for – it’s so exciting. I have taken on what a guest lecturer said at the Swedish School of  Library and Information Science once: Learn to read references! It may seem so obvious, but I have had the pleasure of that urging. I have encountered many lost students who are uncertain of what kind of source they are looking for.

For how long have you worked here?

A long time! There has been so much in the profession so it almost feels like different jobs. Even though the computerization was in full swing when I started, I still have handled a printed card catalog, written inter library loan orders on typewriter, and loaned books through the Detroit system. I’m  happy to have that experience actually. However, I hope I don´t have to go throw more changes within library systems. We had Voyager for 16 years and if we keep Alma/Primo so long I recon I have been able to retire long ago.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

My free time usually consists of some training at Friskis & Svettis. Now I hope for a nice winter because I love cross country skiing and Borås has plenty of places for that. I have been singing in Caroli Church’s Choir for a number of years and now we have a fun time in front of us with advent and Christmas songs. I spend much time in the garden and growing up my own summer flowers has become a bit of a sport.

Do you have any book tips you want to share?

Yes, I would like to talk about everything that Vibeke Olsson has written.The latest series is about the sawmill girl Bricken at Svartvik in the late 19th century. Vibeke Olsson really lives a piece of Swedish working history in a worthwhile way. She has also written novels about World War II, the Roman Empire and Biographies.
The story of her sister Elisabeth, a successful sports journalist, is very moving. She portrays her sister’s creeping alcoholism and misery in a care way. No one notices anything at first and when it’s finally gone too far, the community is not there to support neither Elisabeth or her closest. A sharp criticism of today’s society and social disarmament that engages.

What made you apply to the library at the University of Borås?

When I joined Swedish School of  Library and Information Sience 1991, I lived in Gothenburg and there were not many jobs to apply for. Then there was a vacancy at the University Library in Borås. I applied and the job was mine. After a year I got a permanent job and thats how it started.
After a while, I thought there was enough commuting, so I moved here in 2000. Now I can ride my bike to work almost all year. With studded tires and hot mittens, you can manage the whole winter.

Text: Karin Ekström &  Lena Wadell

Picture: Lena Wadell

Rules in the Library – Again

Since the library is a workplace for many students and for us to have a pleasant working environment, we have some rules of conduct that we hope everyone will follow.
When it comes to the sound level and if you get to talk in the library or not, we are not a silent library, which means that it is perfectly OK to sit in the lounge and talk and have discussion in groups, but we ask you to have a low noise level.

If you want to have a little more heated discussions, we have group rooms that you can book and for those who want absolute silence when they study, we have quiet study room where talking is not allowed.
Although it is all right to talk on your mobile in most places around the library, it is mobile free zone in the area around the information point. Think about the sound level even when you talk on the phone, because it is easy to talk loudly without you knowing it yourself.

When it comes to food and beverage, you get to eat fruit, sweets and some sandwiches in the library. sticky sandwiches like tuna or shrimp sandwiches are not allowed. If you want to eat hot food there is a lunch lounge just outside the library with microwave ovens, 2 refrigerators and a coffee machine. All students have access to the lounge with their tag.

Taking a break from studying and walking away to get something to eat can be a good way to clear your thoughts , regaining focus and get new energy.

You are allowed to have beverage in the Library with a lid on. But remember not to bring soft drinks or energy drinks into the library when it can get really messy if you accidentally pour out a bit.

Text: Tandis Talay
Picture: Unsplash

How should I refer continuously to my text?

It is important that you take time to learn how to refer to the work of others correctly, because scientific writing is based on previous research that someone else has done. In order for your readers to easily find your sources you have used, you must phrase your referrals in a consistent way. Probably, by now you’ve got an idea on how to arrange your reference list, want to know more, check this out. But how does it work with referring to current text? Should the reference be before or after your own text? How to do if you have a reference to a whole paragraph? What should I use for descriptive words when I refer? Should I specify pages? How do I enter a quote?

Here are some quick tips on what to consider when referring while writing.

Here at the library we use the Harvard system and have a detailed guide and guide on our website but it is only in swedish. Anglia Ruskin University has an excellent Harvard guide in english you can use otherwise. Most of the courses at Borås University use the Harvard system but not all, check with your tutor and teacher what is applicable.

How should a reference in current text appear? Here are some common examples:

Dahlberg (1997) points out that …

… these rules of Dahlberg (1997) are well established …

Allemansrätten is another aspect that strongly influences the conditions for outdoor life and nature tourism (Kaltenborn et al., 2001; Sandell & Sörlin 2000; Sandell, 1997).
When you talk about multiple authors in current text, use the word and. However, you should use the character & when you enter the authors in brackets and also in the source list.

Should the reference be before or after your own text?

As in the examples above, the reference can be given in different places depending on how it fits in. Usually it is placed after the paragraph referring to the source in question, but the text reference can also be woven into the text. It consists of an parenthesis that usually contains the author’s last name and source’s release year (and page number). Here are examples of how it may look like:

… a model called constructive alignment (Biggs 1999).

… constructive alignment developed by John Biggs (1999) is a well-established model that …

How to do if you have a reference to a whole paragraph?

When you want to refer to one and the same source for an entire paragraph, it suffices to have it once, and then please in the beginning. If the paragraph is very far you can specify the source further sometime towards the end, so the reader should not have to look for the reference.

Page in the text reference

Practices vary in different subject areas, also when it comes to specifying which page in the source the information is retrieved from or not. When referring to long texts, some consider it a service for the reader to indicate where in the book information you have used exists, while others only want pageviews for quotes. Follow practice within your subject area. The examples in this guide include page views listed sometimes.

Some teachers are what McGuinness (2007, p. 30) calls “heavy users” of the library …

Some teachers are what McGuinness (2007, pp. 30-33) calls “heavy users” of the library …

Some teachers are what McGuinness (2007, Rev. 30, 33) calls “heavy users” of the library …

What should I use for descriptive words when I refer?

Sometimes it may be difficult to vary the language when you refer, but it makes the text a bit more fun if you vary the terms when you refer. For example. writes, suggests, suggests, instructs, questions, expresses doubts, has a different explanation, and so on, There are always synonyms to add but sometimes you may also search for another word that actually gives the statement a little different meaning. Try it out! Karolinska institutet (KI) has a useful frasbank where you can get more tips on phrases to use.
How do I enter a quote?

A quote must be accurately rendered and the reference should also contain a page number. Shorter quotes should be written directly in the quote text (“”). If you exclude text within a quote, mark this with […].

“Communication becomes the tool by which the incomprehensible becomes understandable for that learning, but also for the teaching” (Jonsson 2004, p. 117).

Longer quotes should usually be given a clearer mark and written as a separate paragraph with indentations in the right and left hand lines with an empty line between quotes and your own text.

There is no easy answer. Until a satisfactory solution is found, most people can agree that there is a need for greater social networking savvy […]. Social media is not going away nor should it. All of us need to think twice, however, before we post personal content.
(Moore 2012, p. 91)

Hope you have gotten some stuff about referring in current text. If not, come to us in the information desk and we’ll help you! Also, do not forget that the library on Thursdays has a craftsman with drop in, where language support is also represented. To make sure that you refer correctly and do not run the risk of being charged with plagiarism, check out the university’s anti-placement guide

Text: Lena Holmberg
Photo: Mostphotos

How much are you allowed to copy?

Students tend to copy a lot; books, articles, lecture notes and other things. In this blog post we focus on books – how much of a book are you allowed to copy?

There is an agreement that regulates copying for students and teachers at universities in Sweden. The agreement is made between the organisation Bonus Copyright Accessand The Association of Swedish Higher Education.

First, one can consider what “a copy” is. According the agreement the following activities equals copying:

  • Photocopy
  • Print
  • Download
  • Scanning
  • Save a digital file

So now we know what a copy is, time to look into the heart of the matter: How much are you allowed to copy?

The 15/15-rule is central in the agreement. This rule me15ans that you are allowed to copy 15 % of a book, but no more than 15 pages (every six month). So – if you have a 100 page book, you are allowed to copy 15 pages from this book. If you have a 200 page book (15 % of the book is 30 pages), you may copy 15 pages of the book. And if you have a 60 page book (where 15 % are 9 pages), you may copy 9 pages.

Here’s a brochure summarizing the agreement, if you want to read about other aspects of the agreement.

In conclusion: You may copy 15 %, or 15 pages, of a book you’re going to use in your studies.

If you do not follow the agreement for copying, for example by copying more than you are allowed to, you are guilty of infringement of copyright, and that may result in a liability to pay damages.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Pictures: Josh Applegate on Unsplash and Colourbox