We have provided definitions of some terms used at the University of Derby that you may not have come across before.

If you need more specific information about the services we offer, our FAQ page is a good starting point. Please contact us for further information, or if there are any terms we have neglected to include.

Copyright-cleared resources

Copyright-cleared and scanned essential reading list material, to provide University of Derby staff and students with access to a wide range of resources previously only available in printed form.

Course resources HE

This is the online learning platform that students use to access the learning materials to help with their studies (lecture notes, etc.). It is accessed via UDo.


These are online, searchable collections of reference materials, primarily journal articles, for which the University pays a subscription. You can use databases to search for journal articles suitable for your research. They are password protected, although logging into UDo will often give you immediate access. Some supply complete full-text articles, but others only supply the article reference. The Library can offer support for these resources and often written help sheets are available.

Digital library

This is the University of Derby's collection of online materials: databases, e-journals, e-books, copyright-cleared resources, and so on. You can access the collection via UDo or your student portal.

Document delivery

This service allows off-campus students registered for Infocus services to request and receive photocopies of journal articles or book chapters by post. For full details of how to take advantage of this service see our Guide to Services.


Electronic books available to view online, with identical contents to their printed equivalents.


Electronic journals with articles that are available to view online, with identical contents to their printed equivalents.

Electronic resources

These are any resources found online, e.g. databases, e-journals and e-books. You can access the University's collection via UDo or your student portal.


This stands for Hypertext Mark-up Language. It is designed to be a publishing language that all computers understand. A web browser is needed to read the files.

Files created using html tend to be quicker to download than pdf.


Short for "Information for off-campus students". This is the brand name for the services offered by the library for distance and online learning students.


A dedicated website set up specifically for off-campus students


A periodical publication that deals with a particular subject or professional activity, e.g. a medical journal. Academic researchers publish reports and results of their current research in journals. They are the best way of keeping up-to-date with the latest developments.


This stands for Online Public Access Catalogue, and refers to any online library catalogue. The University's library catalogue is called Prism.

P Number

This is your library borrower number. It can be found above the barcode on your University of Derby ID card. You need it to borrow library materials and to reserve or renew books online.


This stands for Portable Document Format. In order to download pdf files onto your computer, you need a pdf reader. Adobe Acrobat is the best known, and available to download for free.

Many information resources are available in pdf format. These documents are very printer-friendly. HTML documents tend to be faster to download.


A publication issued at regular intervals. Magazines and journals are types of periodical.


The name of the University of Derby online library catalogue. You can use it to search for books and journals and, if you have your P Number, reserve or renew books.


A reciprocal borrowing scheme between higher education libraries for part-time, distance, e-learning and placement students. It enables such students to borrow some books from libraries closer to them. For more details see the Guide to Services page: Access to other Libraries section.


Short for University of Derby online. This is the gateway to online services for students and staff. Course resources and electronic resources can both be accessed from UDo. You need a username and password: your username is your student id. number. Passwords are usually sent out shortly after enrolment, but if you don't know yours please contact the IT Helpdesk on (01332) 591234 or email