Online reference tools

We subscribe to a range of reference databases for you to access for research and homework.

Oxford Reference

Oxford Reference is the premier online reference platform, spanning 25 different subject areas, bringing together 2 million digitized entries across Oxford University Press’s Dictionaries, Companions and Encyclopaedias. Log in by using the word SHEF immediately followed by your 9 digit library card number.

Oxford English Dictionary 

Containing 600,000 words and 3 million quotations. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is an unrivalled guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words - past and present - from across the English-speaking world. Log in by using the word SHEF immediately followed by your 9 digit library card number.

Access to Research

Free access to thousands of academic research journals. Subjects include Art, Medicine, Business, Language, Politics and many others. Access to Research is only available for free if using a library computer.


An extensive database of information, ideas and how-to-guides related to starting up, running or supporting the development of a small business.

Oxford Dictionary of Family names in Britain and Ireland

The ultimate reference work on family names of the UK, covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, and immigrant surnames. It includes every surname that currently has more than 100 bearers, and those that had more than 20 bearers in the 1881 census. Log in by using the word SHEF immediately followed by your 9 digit library card number.


A global business to business directory giving you access to information and contact details to find new business leads

Life in Great Britain

The online citizenship course and practice test. 

Go Citizen

Go Citizen is an online study resource for people preparing for the British citizenship test. It includes an online version of the latest official study materials, plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format at the official test.

Theory Test Pro

Theory Test Pro is a realistic online simulation of the UK’s driving theory test.

Universal Credit – step by step

All the facts about Universal Credit, whether you can apply for it and new procedures like the Verification Process. It's updated every month with information from DWP partners and government websites.

Find a job – step by step

A guide to creating a Find a job Jobseeker account. Follow the step-by-step instructions to help create your Jobseeker account, set up a profile and search for jobs. There are also useful tips like why and how you should keep your activity history up to date.

Job Skills – find and succeed

A guide with hints and tips to help you find your ideal job in the UK. It includes information about looking for jobs, interviews, and starting work.

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