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Texts may be available in paper format or electronic format, or both. If a text is available in both formats, then your choice will depend on how, where and when you are working, and also your study preferences and habits. Most people use a mix of both to good effect.

Print resources

Print resources, including books and journals (and photocopies you may make of these) are perhaps the first format you think of using, and are often readily available in university libraries. The main issue associated with paper fomats is accessibility. Not all books can be borrowed, and there may only be one copy; journals may be too cumbersome to take out just for one article. To access these, you need to make a trip to the library, which may be in your schedule, or it may be an inefficient use of your time. Working with print resources may have advantages, however; most things will be available in print, but not everything in print will be available electronically. Many people also have a strong preference for the physical text in paper format, as it is easier to gain an overview of a whole text, or a range of several texts at once, when they are open in front of you.

Electronic resources

Electronic Resources, or ‘e-resources' as they are commonly referred to, may be a collection of books, journal articles and databases (which index these articles) that are available in electronic or digital format. The University subscribes to many useful e-resources which form a digital library. This digital library collection can be searched by subject, journal title or book title. One of the best links to use to find and search in these resources is here but there are subject resource pages on the Faculty Library site. You will find that you hear about JSTOR very quickly. This is a superb archive store of articles in many of the journals that are related to the subjects you are studying. One important point to watch for is that JSTOR does not contain current material and so we often recommend that you look for a journal title through ejournals@cambridge as there might be more current articles that are useful, but that you are missing though JSTOR.

Electronic resources are available 24/7, and you can access them from anywhere you have access to a computer and the internet. If you are off campus, you may need a password to gain access. Electronic texts are easily searchable for key words, and can be used with software that makes them easier to read, if you have a disability. It may be difficult, however, to use several texts at once, as multiple windows on your screen may be hard to manage. Electronic texts, especially if you only have a link, may appear out of context and it may not be clear where they are from or what they are. You might also wish to consider your ability to read on a screen, and whether you would want to print them and the associated costs of this.

Try the following for full text material: